Construction of the landmark Hezekiah’s Tunnel was done under the City of David in Jerusalem some 2,700 years ago and was truly an amazing feat of engineering. Think of it— two teams of men with only pickaxes at opposite ends cut a subterranean path through 1,750 feet of solid bedrock and successfully met in the middle—without laser levels and GPS!
Even today, many scientists wonder how the teams could have met in the middle. There is some evidence that rock-sounding techniques were used.
Regarding dating the tunnel to King Hezekiah’s time, Dr. Amos Frumkin of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem says: “The carbon-14 tests we carried out on organic material within the plaster of the Siloam Tunnel, and uranium-thorium dating of stalactites found in the tunnel, date it conclusively to Hezekiah’s era.” (2 Chronicles 32:2-4, 30; 2 Kings 20:20).
Additionally, an article in the scientific journal Nature states, “The three independent lines of evidence—radiometric dating, paleography and the historical record—all converge on about 700 BC, rendering the Siloam Tunnel the best-dated Iron-Age biblical structure thus far known.”
We recommend that you book the virtual Bible tour “Your Word is Truth” to learn more about the intriguing story of the construction of Hezekiah’s Tunnel. You will also learn on this tour other fascinating details about the famous Dead Sea Scrolls and the Tell Dan Inscription.
Hezekiah Tunnel Factsheet
Length: 1,750 feet (533 meters)
Height difference between origin and exit: 12 inches (30 centimeters) Gradient of tunnel: 0.06 degrees
Length of time to build: Estimates vary from nine months to four years