‘Siloam’ is the name of an ancient pool in Jerusalem and the setting for the encounter of a man born blind with Jesus (John 9). Jesus sent him to wash his face in the pool of Siloam and his sight was restored. In choosing this name we hope that those who spend time here at Siloam will receive gifts of new sight and insight, and refreshment for their life journey.
In 2004 archaeologists began to uncover a 1st century pool they believed to be the site of the Pool of Siloam in this narrative. They also found an ancient stone, known as the Siloam Inscription, near the entrance to a tunnel thought to connect an older pool of Siloam inside the city walls to the Gihon Spring outside the walls. There is speculation the tunnel may have been constructed in the 7th century BCE to ensure the city’s water supply if it came under siege. However the date remains open to further speculation.
The inscription, whose fragments are now housed in the Archaeological Museum of Istanbul, Turkey, tells how two teams of stonecutters using picks, worked from opposite ends of the tunnel. As they neared the meeting point they began to call to each other through the rock until they broke through, and the water flowed.
The call to transformation continues…
With the drawing of this Love and the voice of this Calling We shall not cease from exploration And the end of all our exploring Will be to arrive where we started And know the place for the first time.
– T. S. Eliot Little Gidding