A new excavation project in Jerusalem has unearthed steps unseen in over 2,000 years at a place where the New Testament records Jesus as having healed a blind man.
The Israel Antiquities Authority, the Israel National Parks Authority and the City of David Foundation early this year announced that the Pool of Siloam, a biblical site cherished by Christians and Jews, will be open to the public for the first time in 2,000 years in the near future.
In recent weeks, archeologists achieved significant progress in the excavation, unearthing some eight steps descending into the Pool which had not been seen in 2,000 years – around the time when Jesus walked the Earth.
“The ongoing excavations within the City of David – the historic site of Biblical Jerusalem – particularly of the Pool of Siloam and the Pilgrimage Road, serve as one of the greatest affirmations of that heritage and the millennia-old bond Jews and Christians have with Jerusalem,” Ze’ev Orenstein, director of International Affairs – City of David Foundation told Fox News Digital.
“Not simply as a matter of faith, but as a matter of fact,” he added.
The City of David Foundation is a non-profit organization established in 1986, “dedicated to the preservation and development of the City of David and its environs, and is committed to connecting people of all faiths and backgrounds to ancient Jerusalem.”
“The half-mile running through the City of David, from the Pool of Siloam in the south, continuing along the Pilgrimage Road, up to the footsteps of the Western Wall, Southern Steps and Temple Mount, represents the most significant half-mile on the planet,” Orenstein said.
“There is no half-mile anywhere on Earth which means more to more people – not to millions, but to billions – than the half-mile that is the City of David,” he added.
The pool was first built roughly 2,700 years ago as part of Jerusalem’s water system in the eighth century B.C. The construction unfolded during the reign of King Hezekia as cited in the Bible in the Book of Kings II, 20:20, according to the two Israeli agencies and the City of David Foundation.
According to estimates, the Pool of Siloam passed through many stages of construction and reached the size of 1.25 acres. According to a passage in the Gospel of John, Jesus restored the sight of a man born blind at the Pool of Siloam.
A small section of the pool, which has been fully excavated, has been accessible to the public for several years. The vast majority of the pool is being excavated and will either be opened piecemeal or once the entire site is unearthed.
Rev. Johnnie Moore, president of the Congress of Christian Leaders, told Fox News Digital in January that, “In the Pool of Siloam, we find evidence of history preserved for us, revealed at just the right time.”
“Theologically, it affirms Scripture, geographically it affirms scripture, and politically it affirms Israel’s unquestionable and unrivaled link to Jerusalem. Some discoveries are theoretical. This one is an undeniable. It is proof of the story of the Bible and of its people, Israel,” he said.
A stroke of luck revealed the pool in 2004, when infrastructure work carried out by the Hagihon water company uncovered some of the pool’s steps. The Israel Antiquities Authority, under supervision of professors Roni Reich and Eli Shukron, launched a survey. As a result, the northern perimeter, as well as a small section of the eastern perimeter of the Pool of Siloam, were uncovered.
“Whether in the halls of the United Nations, ongoing efforts by Palestinian leadership, or on university campuses, Jerusalem’s Biblical heritage is under assault,” said Orenstein.
Orenstein noted that in few years time, visitors to the City of David will be able to witness the factual history for themselves and “see with their own eyes, touch with their own hands, and walk with their own feet upon the very stones their ancestors walked thousands of years ago, as they made their way to Jerusalem on pilgrimage.”
Fox News Digital’s Benjamin Weinthal contributed to this report.