The Water Tunnel of Megiddo

At the bottom of the vertical shaft, the workers of Megiddo dug a horizontal tunnel nearly 220 feet long, to the cave where the spring was located.

Apparently, one crew began in the cave and another one at the bottom of the shaft. The chisel marks in the walls, still visible today, indicate that the workers came from either end to meet in the middle. How they knew the exact direction to dig, and the depth at which to begin, is unknown. But when they finished, they had accomplished one of the engineering wonders of the world.

The cave was sealed from the outside, securing Megiddo's water supply from enemy attack. The city now had the convenience of a freshwater source inside its walls. Every day the women descended the shaft and walked through the horizontal tunnel to the spring. Though the tunnel shown here has electric lights and a modern walk for visitors, the people of Megiddo walked through it in near darkness. Later the tunnel was deepened so that the water flowed to the base of the vertical shaft, where water could be drawn from above.

The shaft and tunnel system of Megiddo is one of the largest and most famous of the great water systems of biblical times.