Ancient royal garden discovered near Jerusalem

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At the Ramat Rachel dig near Jerusalem, archeologists have uncovered an ancient royal garden nourished by an intricate irrigation system.

Researchers from Tel Aviv University and Heidelberg University in Germany have been working at Ramat Rachel, which is said to have been built by the Judeans. The newly discovered gardens date back to the 7th century B.C.

Features of the gardens include stone carved gutters, open channels, closed tunnels and the framework for waterfalls.

"We have uncovered a very rare find," said Oded Lipschits, a professor of Jewish history at Tel Aviv University. The find is to be described in a forthcoming article in Near Eastern Archeology.

Lipschits said the type of garden found at Ramat Rachel would have served a spiritual function as a place where people could find tranquility and a connection to nature...

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