The giant rock-hewn tank held about 66,000 gallons of water and dates to the era of the First Temple, which was built by King Solomon in the 10th century B.C. and destroyed 400 years later.
Archeologists found handprints still visible in the plaster, just as in other First Temple era reservoirs elsewhere. The water source would have been used by city residents as well as vast numbers of pilgrims coming up to the temple for festivals, as described in the Bible.
This reservoir suggests that Jerusalem had a more elaborate municipal water system in the First Temple period than modern experts previously thought—earlier assumptions centered on just the smaller system fed by the Gihon Spring (Eddie Wrenn, “Archaeologists Discover 3,000 Year Old Reservoir Used by Pilgrims on Their Way to Temple Mount in Jerusalem,” DailyMail.co.uk, Sept. 10, 2012).
Archaeological finds like these continue to add more and more evidence to the irrefutable veracity of the biblical record.