by Yael Adar
One of the things you should make a note to see at Zippori is located about a kilometer from the main site. It is an ancient water reservoir, from the Roman and Byzantine periods. This reservoir contained a valve that enabled the regulation of water flow and was apparently built in two phases, during the 2nd and 4th centuries CE. It was in use until the 7th century. It is currently easy to miss the reservoir, but in the near future the entrance to the park will be closer to it and then visitors will be less likely to miss it.
Tsvika Tsuk, Director Department of Archaeology and Heritage at the Israel Nature and Parks Authority described the Zippori reservoir as "A technological wonder which was dug on a geological fault, almost 2000 years ago. Being inside this space causes us to both respect and admire whoever planned it." Tsuk noted that a similar reservoir, most likely planned by the same person, is located close to Irbid, in Jordan. According to Tsuk the Zippori reservoir was built because the springs here were so meager, water simply had to be collected.
The sheer size of the reservoir can only be felt by standing inside this wonder of ancient engineering. Today, visitors to the park can walk down roughly 40 steps into one of two reservoirs. Once at the bottom you can proceed through the tunnel that connects to the second reservoir and walk back up, using another stairway. The reservoir had an enormous capacity of 1,140,000 US gallons (4,300 cubic meters). One of these chambers is 850 feet (260 meters) long, 33 feet (10 meters) deep and 6-13 feet (2-4 meters) wide.