In the 19th Biblical scholars started surveying Jerusalem and documenting its visible archaeological remains. One of the leading figures in this research was captain Charles Warren, a British officer and historian. Among others, he was the first to discover a natural karstic shaft and tunnel above the Gihon Spring. He estimated that it related to an ancient underground tunneling from Canaanite times, dug to secure water into Jerusalem. Furthermore, he suggested that David snuck into the city through this shaft, surprised the Canaanite Jebusites, and so managed to conquer the city (2 Sam. 5:8). In honor of his discovery, the shaft is called to this day Warren’s Shaft, although new research suggests David could not have used the shaft, as it was not yet known at his time.
Touring Warren’s Shaft
Warren’s shaft is within the National park of the City of David. It is accessed from an entry near Area G and continues to the Gihon Spring. In recent years new research uncovered more components of the city’s ancient water system. The new finds seem to indicate that bent tunnel led to a water reservoir, and Warren’s shaft was really used only for ventilation.