Jews fled Romans through recently discovered tunnel





Under threat from Romans ransacking Jerusalem 2,000 years ago, many of the city's Jewish residents crowded into an underground drainage channel to hide and later flee the chaos through Jerusalem's southern end.

The ancient tunnel was recently discovered buried beneath rubble, a monument to one of the great dramatic scenes of the destruction of the Second Temple in the year 70 A.D.

The channel was dug beneath what would become the main road of Jerusalem, the archaeology dig's directors, Ronny Reich of the University of Haifa and Eli Shukron of the Israel Antiquities Authority, said Sunday. Shukron said excavators looking for the road happened upon a small drainage channel that led them to the discovery of the massive tunnel two weeks ago.

"We were looking for the road and suddenly we discovered it," Shukron said. "And the first thing we said was, 'Wow."'

The discovery of the drainage channel was momentous in itself, a sign of how the city's rulers looked out for the welfare of their citizens by developing an infrastructure that drained the rainfall and prevented flooding, Reich said.


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