What Are These Strange Markings Found Near Jerusalem’s Gihon Spring?

Archaeologists from the City of David, Jerusalem, want your ideas

Gihon Spring markings

The function of these strange, V-shaped markings discovered near the Gihon Spring in the City of David (Jerusalem) has completely baffled archaeologists. Submit your ideas below for what you think they might be.

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.

Posted in Jerusalem.

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  • Franz says

    Modifying my reading from 2014 to ACCw or maybe AGGw, phonetically between AC CA and Hawwa, graphically an ideogram; explanation and sketch at the end of this page: http://www.seshat.ch/home/lasco13.htm (among the topics: water issue on the Göbekli Tepe and in the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, Aaron as water engineer surpassing even his Egyptian colleagues, apiru as wandering channel diggers, Ark of the Covenant lost but not entirely, YHVH encoded in ‘mercy seat’, a pair of combined cubits define Solomon’s ‘molten sea’ and provide a better value for pi, heavenly Jerusalem in Ezekiel’s vision and John’s Revelation makes the Gihon spring become the source of the river of life – metaphorically the mother of life Hawwa).

  • Scott says

    Since the Temple required a huge amount of water and also that water symbolizes God’s spirit , it is important to note that the temple must be built over a spring. This is the true site of both temples. There is not a spring on Mount Moriah site of the Temple Mount. In fact there isn’t another spring for miles. The spring is the only reason Jerusalem was settled at the beginning.

  • Scott says

    Possibly markings left behind from the Jebusites.

  • Eva says

    I think it stands for “who gives life”, a bad translation of ” Haba” in latin alphabet. These waters were absolutely precious, a real source of life.
    Waters were impersonated as female and all the key places in the Ancient World were built near to the most important places to survive: rivers, pools, springs, it means, waters that can be drank by human beings.
    The main sign you must carve is the one that shows you the path to a water course…if you want to stay alive. And I supposed that this place became sacred later for the first settlers.
    Romans were very practical people who conquered this place so spending time in rock carving is far from a waste of time. This sign is very logical.

  • Joanna says

    I would agree that it is to hold / or stabilize an ancient tool or torch. I would start looking at tools/ torches/ lampstands or keys from that time period.

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