The Palestine Exploration Fund

Search the PEF

Forthcoming events

12th September 2019: IAIN BROWNING MEMORIAL LECTURE: Excavations at Solomon’s Pools, Bethlehem, and the Water Supply to Jerusalem in Antiquity

Matt Adams, Albright Institute, Jerusalem

12th September 2019, 4pm, British Museum BP Lecture Theatre

Tickets are available through the British Museum 1 month - 2 weeks before the lecture. To book, contact the British Museum Box Office:  020 7323 8181 or     and go to the 'What's On' option at the top of the BM homepage. Then choose the 'Events Calendar'  and scroll down the page to see events listed by date and time.  If the event is not yet listed, please try again at a later date.

Poster Sept 2019.pdf


'Solomon's Pools' are three large water reservoirs located 5 km southwest of Bethlehem, which are at the heart of an elaborate water collection and distribution system which provided water to Jerusalem for some 2000 years from the time of Herod the Great through the period of the British Mandate in Palestine. It is widely believed that the expansion of Jerusalem during the Hasmonean and Herodian periods was possible, in large part, due to the ready access to water provided by these pools; and yet, they have never been excavated. The W.F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research has now conducted more than a year of survey and excavations, elucidating the 2000-year history of water supply to Jerusalem, with a few surprises along the way.

Photo: Aerial View of Solomon's Pools near Bethlehem. Courtesy of M. J. Adams

Matthew Adams received his doctorate in Egyptian and Ancient Near Eastern Archaeology and History from Penn State University in 2007. 
Shortly after, in 2009, he became Director of the Jezreel Valley Regional Project, and since 2015 has been co-Director alongside Israel Finkelstein and Mario Martin of the Megiddo excavations, which is where today’s subject – the Roman camp of Ferrata VI at Legio, Megiddo, hails from. In 2014, he was appointed the Dorot Director of the Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem. Recently he has been directing the archaeological investigation of the three ancient water reservoirs known as ‘Solomon’s Pools’ at Artas near Bethlehem.
He is also President of American Archaeology Abroad, and quite clearly enjoys the sunshine as he is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Palestine Exploration Fund, 5-6 Dreadnought Walk, Greenwich, London SE10 9FP.
Tel: +44 (0) 207 935 5379, Fax: + 44 (0) 207 485 7438 | Email:
Registered company: 13606 | Registered charity: 212538
Our privacy policy