Researchers unearth ancient water secrets at royal garden dig

October 29th, 2010 - 6:04 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Oct 29 (ANI): Archaeologists have unearthed an ancient royal garden- which dates back to the 7th century B.C.-at the site of Ramat Rachel near Jerusalem.

Researchers at Tel Aviv University, in collaboration with Heidelberg University in Germany, are also leading the first full-scale excavation of this type of archaeological site anywhere in the pre-Hellenistic Levant.

According to Oded Lipschits and Boaz Gross of Tel Aviv University, this dig is an unparalleled look into the structure and function of ancient gardens.

According to Gross, such gardens were once the ultimate symbol of power.

It makes an obvious statement of status to have a massive and lush green space surrounding one’s palace, especially when the surrounding area is bare, as it would have been in the dry climate of the Judean Hills only two miles from the Old City of Jerusalem, he said.

He also said that the garden would have been the most prominent feature of Ramat Rachel, visible from the west, north and south.

One of the dig’s most important aspects is water management. In ancient times, control over water indicated political strength, said Gross.

A main feature of the Ramat Rachel gardens is its intricate irrigation system, the likes of which have never been seen before outside of Mesopotamia.

Features include open channels and closed tunnels, stone carved gutters and the framework for elaborate waterfalls.

The findings were reported in Quadmoniot, the journal of the Israel Exploration Society. (ANI)

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