Dogs and archaeologists have one thing in common – they both like to dig. Many teams of archaeologists came in the 19th century searching for treasures from the biblical narrative, carefully researching and surveying, determining the most likely spots for troves from the past. Some discoveries, however, were made by chance. This story is one of those chance discoveries made by a 4-legged explorer.
One day in the spring of 1854, John Barclay, a researcher with the Palestine Exploration Fund was walking his dog outside of the Old City of Jerusalem near Damascus Gate. It was a sunny day, the air crisp and clear after a rain – in short – a day much like today.
The dog sniffed at the ground looking for anything which would catch his attention when he sensed some movement out of the corner of his eye. Quick as a flash, he chased the cat who headed for a cove in the bedrock under the city wall. The dog started digging in an ancient mound of trash, compacted by the winter rains, in order to catch the cat. As he dug, he uncovered the opening to a cave and seemingly disappeared into the bedrock. Barclay called him back; and as an obedient friend, the dog came back, leaving the cat cowering inside the cave.
The next day Barclay came back with a few friends and some torches to continue the discovery and exploration of what we now call “Zedekiah’s Cave”. And so, through the indiscriminate digging of a curious canine was found the largest quarry in Jerusalem.
Come see for yourself what this 4-legged archaeologist dug up!