Washington, September 5 (ANI): An archaeological dig in Jerusalem has uncovered a 3,700-year-old wall that is the largest and oldest of its kind found in the region.
According to a report by CNN, the wall is built of enormous boulders, confounding archaeologists as to how ancient peoples built it.
Standing 8 meters (26 feet) high, the wall of huge cut stones is a marvel to archaeologists.
"To build straight walls up 8 meters...I don't know how to do it today without mechanical equipment," said the excavation's director, Ronny Reich. "I don't think that any engineer today without electrical power could do it," he added.
"You see all the big boulders - all the boulders are 4 to 5 tons," said Archaeologist Eli Shukron of the Israel Antiquities Authority.
The discovered section is 24 meters (79 feet) long.
"However, it is thought the fortification is much longer because it continues west beyond the part that was exposed," the Israel Antiquities Authority said in a news release.
It was found inside the City of David, an archaeological excavation site outside the Old City of East Jerusalem on a slope of the Silwan Valley.
The wall is believed to have been built by the Canaanites, an ancient pagan people who the Bible says inhabited Jerusalem and other parts of the Middle East before the advent of monotheism.
"This is the most massive wall that has ever been uncovered in the City of David," Reich and Shukron said in a joint statement about the find.
It marks the first time "that such massive construction that predates the Herodian period has been discovered in Jerusalem," they added.
It appears to be part of a "protected, well-fortified passage that descends to the spring tower from some sort of fortress that stood at the top of the hill," according to the joint statement.
The spring "is located in the weakest and most vulnerable place in the area. The construction of a protected passage, even though it involves tremendous effort, is a solution for which there are several parallels in antiquity, albeit from periods that are later than the remains described here," the statement added.
According to Reich, such walls were used primarily to defend against marauding desert nomads looking to rob the city.
"We are dealing with a gigantic fortification, from the standpoint of the structure's dimensions, the thickness of its walls and the size of the stones that were incorporated in its construction," the joint statement said. (ANI)