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Archaeologist Shukron spent 15 years excavating the Spring Citadel, which is a centerpiece of the City of David archaeological experience.Visitors there are shown a film projected onto the Spring Citadel, and the voice-over explains the Canaanite-period construction.The findings, based on soil samples taken from under a seven-meter thick walled tower, shave nearly a thousand years from previous archaeological dating of the structure, which placed it c.1700 BCE — and contradict a presumed biblical linkage to the site.Archaeologist Eli Shukron, who claims to uncovered the citadel captured from the Jebusites by King David, walks in the City of David archaeological site near Jerusalem’s Old City on Thursday, May 1, 2014.(AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner) Raising and dismissing the possibility that the tower was built in the Canaanite period and reconstructed during the Israelite period, Boaretto says understatedly, “The conclusive, scientific dating of this massive tower, placing it in a later era than was presumed, will have repercussions for other attempts to date construction and occupation in ancient Jerusalem.” How widespread the radiocarbon dating’s repercussions extend, however, is already up for debate. Israel Finkelstein told The Times of Israel that Boaretto’s study, while interesting, is not decisive.According to a Weizmann Institute press release, the team can produce “highly accurate results on something as small as a seed.” “Getting one’s hands dirty is all part of building a reliable chronology,” said Boaretto.
Accordingly, the spring tower could have been built in the Middle Bronze Age and restored in the late 9th century or even later,” says Finkelstein, who is a proponent of the idea that ancient Jerusalem had smaller, more modest city limits. Alkow professor of the Archaeology of Israel in the Bronze and Iron Ages at Tel Aviv University, “A Middle Bronze date for the original construction of the tower is supported by similarity to construction methods at places such as Shechem and Shiloh.” (Finkelstein was director of excavations at biblical Shiloh in 1981-1984.) “If indeed an old tower was damaged and restored in the Iron Age, the question is when.
and it seems that it is essentially the largest fortress found in Israel until the days of King Herod,” states the website.
However, new findings by an interdisciplinary cooperative team of Israel Antiquities Authority archaeologists and Weizmann Institute scientists place the construction of the tower during the second half of the Iron Age — smack dab in the middle of the Israelite period, and much closer to the days of Herod than earlier suspected.
Downhill from the Temple Mount of Jerusalem, the Gihon Spring guard tower was discovered in 2004 by archaeologists Ronny Reich and Eli Shukron.
Based on pottery and architectural signifiers, the heavily fortified structure — and the rest of the Spring Citadel protecting Jerusalem’s precious water source — were dated to Canaanite construction (Middle Bronze II period).