>Corinne Heller, in an article published in The Washington Post, reported that archaeologists have discovered the remains of an ancient water system at Ramat Rahel. Heller wrote:
Archaeologists in Israel have unearthed an ancient water system which was modified by the conquering Persians to turn the desert into a paradise. The network of reservoirs, drain pipes and underground tunnels served one of the grandest palaces in the biblical kingdom of Judea
Archaeologists first discovered the palace in 1954, a structure built on a six-acre (2.4 hectare) site where the communal Ramat Rachel farm now stands. Recent excavations unearthed nearly 70 square meters (750 square feet) of a unique water system.
“They had found a huge palace . . . even nicer than the palaces in Jerusalem, (dating) from the late Iron Age to the end of the biblical period in the 7th century,” Oded Lipschits, a Tel Aviv University archaeologist, said. The infrastructure of the palace was remodeled throughout the centuries to fit the needs of the Babylonians, Persians, Romans and the Hasmoneans.
According to archaeologists, Ramat Rahel is probably to be identified with Beth-haccerem and it appears as Karem in the Septuagint text of Joshua 15:59. In his study of the land of the Bible, Yohanan Aharoni said that the site was erected during the reign of Jehoiakim, king of Judah.
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Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary