World Joins Effort to Solve City of David Mystery

Bible and archaeology news

After archaeologists admitted they were completely stumped as to the meaning and function of three strange markings recently discovered during excavations near Jerusalem’s Gihon Spring (see “Strange Markings Puzzle City of David Archaeologists”), they went to the world to try to find an answer. After posting images of the strange V-shaped markings on Facebook, archaeologists working with the Ir David Foundation, which manages the City of David park, received more than 20,000 suggestions as to what the symbols might mean. Some of the more interesting comments left on the page suggested the markings could be drainage channels for ancient urinals, molds for smelting and crafting iron tools, or archaic symbols for water. Still others had more comic suggestions–that the markings were the original McDonald’s sign, or footprints from King Solomon’s dinosaur.

World Joins Effort to Solve City of David Mystery

After archaeologists admitted they were completely stumped as to the meaning and function of three strange markings recently discovered during excavations near Jerusalem’s Gihon Spring, they went to the world to try to find an answer.


Read more about the other interesting ideas people have about the markings.

Posted in Jerusalem, News.

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  1. Eleanore says

    The bronze lepton coin from the reign of Matathias Antoginas (37-40) BCE has a similar V-shape image. Have the mysterious V-shape images been dated? Could this symbol represent this Hasmonean ruler or some aspect of his reign?

  2. Frank says

    Here is another suggestion. Begin to fill the marks with water. See if the water collects at one of the apexes whioch seem to be enlarged. If it does, the marks may have served the function of collecting water during times of very low water levels.

  3. Edwin says

    It reminds me of the symbol found over the entrance to the putative “Jesus Family Tomb”

  4. Harry says

    It would be nice if BAS gave us the exact orientation of these symbols with the spring source and dug channels. If memory serves correct, the Gihon Spring had more than one outlet to protect it from various sieges ( Hezekiah’s tunnel ? David’s, etc.) . If so than a “map” of its construction would need to be easily accessible to instruct future generations where to block one channel and divert to the other depending on the enemy’s proximity and location thus safeguarding the water source for Jerusalemites in times of trouble. One can even make the argument, if this room is directly over the Spring (a diagram is needed!), for a vertical wooden shaft to go through the floor via the hole, actuated by a lever in the room, actuating a valve in the water stream to block one or more of the channels and divert the flow to another leading into the city. Note the round hole on the right where such a beam can be inserted to a lower level. Could the V shaped marks also represent “machine gear” settings to allow the operators different settings for flow in wet times vs. dry times? Only an engineer with more information can know for sure?—- Dr Ken Shamir

  5. Rafael says

    Rafael Montesinos
    This was a well. These marks are not letters, or symbols. Apparently these marks were left there once the objects that were embedded in the ground, made of wood or metal were removed. Those elements no longer exist, but left their tracks.
    Those elements were embedded on the ground for stability.

  6. Robert says

    (1) The grooves would have needed to serve a semi-permanent purpose.

    (2) The exact date of the carving of the grooves is uncertain.

    (3) Each groove results in two ends, with a wider area at the ‘top’ of each.

    (4) The are THREE of them.

    (5) Whatever took plae here, it seemed to require three observations or events at the same time, in a small private setting.

    I propose they are a device for DIVINATION.

    A person would cast a token of some type into type into the apex of each groove, and in the event of dual identical responses of ‘YES’ or “NO’, the third would be a tie-breaker.

    Rob Shaw
    OKC, OK

  7. Alene says

    Does it possibly look anything like cuneiform for ‘female only’?

  8. Alene says

    Just saying it honestly looks like an archaic form of cuneiform, the bottom symbol in the picture to the left side reminds me of the symbol for Ox. It just seems that the symbols are stating who can use the water at that spot.

  9. robert says

    the well is north 2 miles,or the aquifefer feeding the spring is northwest, or, given the inverted v symbols which today denote greater than or less than , or esoterically, not worthy!, the beginning is north.

  10. Ron says

    Perhaps they are the foundation for a machine. The three V-shaped grooves are very uniform and precise, which would make them well suited for anchoring the legs of a wooden frame. The opposing placement and orientation of the three V’s would create a great deal of stability for a machine subject to high stress, such as a water mill. The cutout crossing the open side of the one V is highly variable in shape and depth, which would be consistent with creating clearance for parts of the machinery that hung too low to clear the normal ground level. You wouldn’t care about the quality of that cutout, only that it cleared your machine. The Romans were excellent hydraulic engineers, isn’t it likely they put the spring to work?

  11. David says

    Any Master Mason can tell you that tradition has Masons present at the building of King Solomon’s Temple. We have certain tools/symbols that are used in our “work”. These shapes could either be molds for metal poured artifacts, or etched symbols that represent standards or procedures. Any others see the shapes I see?

  12. Adam says

    Indeed, I think they are molds for metal poured for joiners of gates, platforms or war machines like ballistras or load bearing cranes for construction or defense. Too large to carry as field architectural / survey measuring tools. They are 45 – 80 degrees angles. The bottom angle terminates into 2 reinforced ends to carry load of attached beams as per above

  13. udumula says

    One needs to investigate and confirm whether the finds are symbols are of any significance from the history point of view of simply a fashion.

  14. Steve says

    It appears that the three “V” shaped markings all have different angles. They also appear to be very precise. Could these be a template to used to test or aid in the calibration of a tool like a trowel? Or could they be be used to calibrate a mason’s form, or a mason’s measureing tool so as to make the tools all identically the same by the use of these markings as a standard template against which all all other forms, tools, and measureing instruments are compared?

  15. Salomon says

    It’s an ancient version of a mini golf.

  16. thomas says

    In Herod’s temple there were V shaped channels in the floor for the collection
    of dew for use in water ritual purification. Perhaps these were older, but similar
    in purpose.

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