Ancient Water System in Palestine in the Bronze and Iron Ages, Tunnel of Khirbet Bala’ma as the Model


AbstractThis research aims at shedding light on the Khirbet Bala’ma Tunnel, located south of Jenin. One of the most important ancient water systems used in Palestine, along with the Silwan and Al-Jib (Jerusalem), Tall al-Mutasallem (Megiddo), Tel Waqas (Tall al-Qudah, Hazor) and Tall Al Gazar (Gezer). The tunnel was used since the Late Bronze Age until the end of Ottoman rule. The researchers rely on the field documentation and the study of the books of travelers and European scholars. Archaeological salvage excavations were carried out in the tunnel under the supervision of Palestinian scientists, which discovered parts of the tunnel that were discovered during two seasons of archaeological work in 1996 and 1997. In 1999, the Department of Palestinian Antiquities repaired and restored it in collaboration with the University of Leiden and the United Nations Development Program. The tunnel was rehabilitated and opened as an archaeological site for tourists in 2005.Key Words: Bronze Age, Khirbet Bala’ma, Water System, Tunnel of Bala’ma, Jenin