cistern

At the far east end of the site lies this opening to a stairway that descends down to the cistern.

It's mentioned on most of the guides but always rather vaguely. I wanted to see what was there.

cistern

Standing at the entrance to the stairway you see this. Rough, uneven steps going down - but note the massive construction.

 

Photos of the cistern and detailed archeological information about it are rather hard to come by.

cistern

Standing at about where the post and lintel was visible in the last photo, you see this.

These photos are all illuminated by flash, of course. It was pretty close to full dark at this point.

cistern

This is taken standing at the landing visible at the end of the path in the previous photo.

The stairway has turned to the left and goes down as you see here.

This was pitch black in reality, illuminated only by flash.

I had stupidly forgotten to take my flashlight, and I was running out of time, so further exploration of this had to wait until I came back in 2012.

At the far east end of the flight of stairs in the previously image there is a turn to the right, a short flight of stairs and then a turn to the right again. The short flight and landing are shown here, with one of my students "holding up" the roof.

Another long set of steps going down. It is cool, a just a bit musty, but tight and dry.

Finally the destination. There used to be a cistern here in a long plunge down but it has been filled in for safety. Would be very scary hauling water out of this lit only by candles.

And back up we come. The first flight of stairs seen from the bottom.

Last modified 5/12/13; posted 9/10/09; Original content © 2013, 2009 John P. Nordin