Posts Tagged ‘Water sources in Israel’

When you travel in Israel, you can’t help but notice that water is not plentiful. It is, after all, mostly desert. As a result, few rivers or lakes or other bodies of fresh water are available. How did those living in antiquity survive without water being readily available? The answer in many parts of the country was–cisterns. A cistern is not the same as a well. A cistern is a device for rain water collection, and it is typically carved out of rock. This is possible because in many parts of Israel, the rock is limestone which is relatively soft and easily carved. The problem; however, with limestone is that it is very porous, and so to keep the water in the cisterns, the walls were plastered over. The following are some of the cisterns I have visited in Israel. 

Looking up out of the cistern in Beersheva
The evidence of plastering of walls of cistern in Beersheva
Cistern at Beit Shemesh
Entrance into the cistern at Beit Shemesh (notice how water has carved the stone)
Cistern Qumran (by the Dead Sea)
One of several cisterns at Herodian
Different cistern at Herodian

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