The Enigma of the High-Level Aqueduct to Jerusalem and the Mamilla Water System

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In the Early Roman period the High-Level Aqueduct conveyed water to Jerusalem. The widely accepted view has been that before reaching the city, the aqueduct made a detour to the Mamilla Pool and then merged with the Mamilla Street Aqueduct on its way to the city. The article argues that this route is implausible. It presents data from excavations that set a consistent dating of the Mamilla water system to the Byzantine period. The Mamilla Pool and the Mamilla Street Aqueduct constituted a stand-alone water supply system that merely collected run-off water outside the urban area. The final stretch of the High-Level Aqueduct remains unknown.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)268-281
Number of pages14
JournalTel Aviv
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2 Jul 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author wishes to thank David M. Jacobson and Tsvika Tsuk for reading the first draft of this article and making valuable suggestions. The author expresses his gratitude to the editor and anonymous reviewers for their remarks. The author is grateful to the Israel Antiquities Authority for permission to publish the results of the excavation of the Mamilla Pool, with special thanks to Judith Ben-Michael and Nataly Zack for assisting in the preparation of archival materials for publication. Figures 3–4 are based on the draft sketches from the archival file: IAA Archives/Excavations/permit A-3100/1999, after R. Abu-Raya and Y. Billig,

Publisher Copyright:
© The Institute of Archaeology of Tel Aviv University 2020.


  • High-Level Aqueduct
  • Jerusalem
  • Mamilla Pool
  • Mamilla Street Aqueduct
  • Roman aqueducts
  • Water systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Archaeology


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