Photographs from the late 19th century showed the aqueduct in use by the city’s Ottoman rulers, nearly 600 years after its construction in 1320. The photo shows an inscription dating back to the aqueduct’s early days.
It was uncovered during repairs to the city’s modern-day water system. Public works projects here proceed in cooperation with antiquities officials in a city where turning over a shovel of dirt anywhere can turn back the pages of time, said Yehiel Zelinger, the archaeologist in charge of the excavation.
The team has found two of nine arched sections of a bridge about 9 feet (3 meters) tall on the west side of Jerusalem’s Old City, Zelinger said.
Though archaeologists knew the aqueduct was there, the find represents the first time they have had a glimpse of the intricate bridge system used for centuries to combat gravity and shuttle water from faraway sources, Zelinger said.