Last December, excavations near the Gihon Spring in the City of David, Jerusalem, uncovered three strange V-shaped markings that completely stumped archaeologists Eli Shukron and Ronny Reich. The mysterious shapes, each of which measures about 1.5 feet in length, are carved into the bedrock floor of a room that was in use, according to dated pottery sherds, until at least the late ninth century B.C.E. Unfortunately, the archaeologists found few clues to indicate either the meaning or function of the carvings.
Rather than remaining secretive and aloof about the puzzling discovery near the Gihon Spring, the archaeologists and the City of David Foundation issued a press release with a rare request to the public for help in identifying these mysterious carvings from the City of David.
The response was overwhelming. Tens of thousands of people took to Facebook and reposted on other social media outlets to offer their suggestions about what the Gihon Spring markings could be—from a torture device or molds for smelting iron to a representation of mountains or the symbol for water.
But the code still hasn’t been cracked. Submit your ideas below and see if you can unlock the mystery of these ancient carvings.
Based on Strata, “Archaeologists Offer Public a Glimpse Behind the Curtain,” Biblical Archaeology Review, March/April 2012.