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12,000 Gallon Cistern?

August 2006

Ark of the Covenant Excavation Reveals Plastered Enclosure

Cistern_Wall_01          Cistern_Wall_03

Excavations just completed in Jerusalem revealed what appears to be a 12,000 gallon Byzantine cistern. A circular plastered enclosure measuring approximately sixteen feet in diameter and approximately ten feet in height was partially excavated. The cistern having walls as much as six feet in thickness adjoins an un-plastered circular room which surrounds the crevice which Ron Wyatt associated with the crucifixion site.

A date has not been established for the un-plastered room and at this time archaeologists are uncertain as to it’s function. Quoting one investigator: “I am perplexed. I have never seen anything exactly like this.”

The photo at the top is a view of the excavation from the surface some thirty feet above.

At the bottom and right side of the picture steel shoring frames are visible.

At right-center the un-plastered circular room surrounding the “crevice” and “cross hole” area can be seen. Removal of the overburden, by way of the recent excavations, made it possible to reveal and define the circular nature of the room. In the past only portions of the walls could be seen on each side of the “crevice” and “cross hole.” A steel drilling platform which was employed in the excavation is seen in the center of the room.

In the lower left an excavation opening is seen which leads into the cistern. This opening was created as a result of the recent dig and is in addition to an 2005 opening through a six foot thick cistern wall that is built on bedrock.

The elevation of the bedrock under the cistern wall gets higher as it extends to the north toward the cliff face. The man made portion of the cistern wall is five or six feet high where we cut through last year. Near the cliff face the bedrock is at a much higher elevation requiring less construction.
It is interesting to note that we find the remains of a plastered floor at the elevation of the cistern rim. The wall of the circular room surrounding the “cross hole” and “crevice” seems to have been slightly higher than that of the cistern, as it extends above the plastered floor by about eighteen inches.

It is also interesting to note that the “cross hole” and “crevice” is located in the center of the unidentified circular room.
At the top-center sand bags cover a portion of a stone stairway. The lower portion of the stairway is missing and seems to have been unintentionally removed by Ron Wyatt as he originally entered the area. Working underground and in a confined area it would have been impossible for Ron to have recognized the nature of the stones that had to be removed for access. Projecting down the existing stairs, the indication is that the stairway would lead into the cistern along it’s Northern walls.

The second image is an overlay of the 2005 excavation along with the outline of the position of the circular walls as revealed by the recent excavation.


  1. I got the firs two CD’s about the Arc of The Covenant, which is the new one?…. Just let me know to make my new order. Thank you very much!

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