Tuesday, June 3, 2014

A 2,000 Year Old Screw-Up

It's bad enough when someone knows you messed up - but can you imagine if something you did wrong lives on over 2,000 years? I have to admit, I laughed when I heard about this one.

See, the Romans came to our land over 2,000 years ago. They were brutal and barbaric and left behind such devastation and desecration. They destroyed Jerusalem - despite the idiocy of one Professor Nadia Abu-El Haj who made the asinine claim that since we can't find the burning match that burned

Jerusalem in the year 70 C.E. and since at the time there were Jews and Romans in Jerusalem (at least let's be grateful she acknowledges there were no Palestinians), there is, she claims, a 50-50 chance that it was Jews who burned the city. Yeah - and they made her a professor at Barnard College of Columbia University...can you imagine?

So anyway, back to the Romans - yeah, they did burn and destroy Jerusalem, dragged off our treasures, and salted the land. Caesarea was built by Herod...and served as the administrative center for the Roman Empire. There are many Roman ruins in Israel - roads, aqueducts, walls, etc. - but yes, there is also Nahal Taninim and for some reason, I smiled when I heard the explanation.

The Romans came and decided to build an aqueduct to help bring much needed water to Caesarea. They began the massive job of chiseling through solid rock...and made it about 400 meters before they realized that the angle was wrong; that Caesarea was about 6 meters HIGHER than where they were digging and therefore there would be no way to get the water to flow UP into the city.

So they abandoned the project...and it remains as a testimony to a 2,000 year old screw up...

On the bright-side, they did manage to harness the power of the dam as an impressive flour mill.

We were lucky enough to get one of they young, post-army guides show us how it worked. What was funny was apparently he waited until after two groups of school kids left- then he called over a young family and my husband and me to show us.

First, using wooden polls, he turned a massive wheel to lift a wooden door and we watched as water poured through the opened dam into a holding pool on the other side.

After a few minutes, he closed the wooden door and then moved further down to where the wheels had been embedded in the walls.

Just above where the first of several wheels had been placed, the young man again opened another wooden door and let the water flow.

As it did - the power of the surge of water began turning the wheels.

Pretty cool, I have to tell you. Here's a short video I took - not the best of quality, but the sun was shining so brightly, I could barely see the screen on my phone and I wasn't even sure if I was getting anything!


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