The aqueduct, c. 1 km south of the southeastern corner of Qibbuz Kabri, was oriented east–west. It was close to the top of the southern slope of edh-Dhahr Hill, where the Western Galilee Comprehensive School is located and to its west is the monument commemorating those who fell in the Yehi‘am convoy in 1948. The aqueduct received its water from Nahal Ga‘aton, flowing west. East of the hill, the stream turns south for a distance of c. 0.5 km and then encircles the hill and turns west again. Until the establishment of the State of Israel, some or all the water in the stream was routed to a channel that began east of the point where the stream turns south and continued west from there. The channel, Qanat Jatun, appears on the map of the British Mandate (scale 1:20, 000), as well as on the topo-cadastral maps of the region. Only the channel appears on the Survey of Western Palestine map (in blue) and in this section Nahal Ga‘aton is designated a seasonal stream. The British surveyors documented this region in the summer of 1877 (C.R. Conder and H.H. Kitchener 1881, The Survey of Western Palestine 1877. Vol. I, Galilee. London. P. 28) and it seems that at that time all of the water in the stream was conveyed to the channel and the Nahal Ga‘aton aqueduct received its water from this channel. The northern section of the current aqueduct, which probably conveyed water from Qanat Jatun, was not discerned, but near the top of the eastern slope of the hill there is a man-made terrace and the aqueduct had presumably passed there before turning west. 
After turning west, the aqueduct passed through a tunnel that was not excavated (length 11.3 m, present height 2.4 m); it was probably lower in the past and the collapse of the ceiling rock resulted in its current height. The next section (length c. 38 m) was a broad open channel that was not examined (see Fig. 2).
The channel led to a tunnel (length 45 m) in which four shafts were discerned. Subsequently, the passage from the channel to the tunnel was blocked by a fieldstone wall; this tunnel was also not excavated. The width of the shafts was the same as that of the tunnel; their length and the distance between them were irregular.
Table 1. The Tunnel Segments and the Shafts
Tunnel Segments
Length (m)
Length/width (m)
East of Shaft I
Shaft I-Shaft II
Shaft II-Shaft III
Shaft III-Shaft IV
West of Shaft IV
The next section (length c. 69 m) consisted of seven channel segments; the tunnel segments were shortened into six bridges (Fig. 5). The four western bridges (C–F) were excavated; the two westernmost bridges (E, F) were vandalized.
Tunnel Segment
Length (m)
Length (m)
Before Bridge A
Bridge A-Bridge B
Bridge B-Bridge C
Bridge C-Bridge D
Bridge D-Bridge E
Bridge E-Bridge F
Bridge F to a pit
A wall crossed the channel, 0.7 m east of Bridge C, similar to the wall that was east of the eastern tunnel (Fig. 6).
The aqueduct survived in its entirety between Segments E and F. The water flowed in a channel hewn in a hill that slopes southwards (width 0.99 m, depth in south 1.83 m, depth in north 2.1 m). An aqueduct (width 0.38 m, depth 0.75 m) was built inside the channel and sections of its walls (width 0.3 m) have survived on both sides (Fig. 7). The aqueduct was coated with plaster that extended up onto the side walls. Long fieldstones were set on top of the aqueduct and small flat stones were placed in each of the spaces between them. This covering was overlain with a layer of crushed limestone that was probably part of the original aqueduct.
Nine meters west of Bridge F was a circular pit (diam. 2.72 m, depth in north 1.40 m, depth in south 1.15 m; Fig. 8). A depression (diam. 2.05 m, depth 0.45 m) in the center of the pit was probably a limekiln, hewn after the aqueduct was no longer in use.
Further to the west, the aqueduct was not inside a hewn channel. In a section, c. 10 m long, the northern side of the aqueduct rested up against a hewn wall and afterward was built in a channel dug in the ground. The aqueduct turned southwest c. 55 m west of the pit and continued in that direction (length c. 30 m). The remains of the last section were meager but it was clear that the aqueduct was a plastered channel built on a low wall (width c. 2 m; Fig. 9).
The aqueduct was c. 240 m long from the point where it turned west and it terminated at the top of the southern slope of the hill, whence it could irrigate most of the area of the slope by means of earthen channels. It seems therefore that the construction of the aqueduct was meant to convert the agriculture in that area from dry farming to irrigated farming.
The excavation finds are insufficient to determine an exact date for the aqueduct. Several potsherds were found, among them body sherds from the Mamluk or Ottoman periods, and it therefore seems that the aqueduct was used during these periods. The fieldstone walls that were built across the aqueduct and the limekiln that was constructed after it went out of use indicate that the aqueduct ceased to be used at the beginning of the twentieth century.
The diversity of the aqueduct’s structure as evinced by the tunnel segments with shafts, the channels with bridges and the construction on top of a wall is very interesting.
The region of the aqueduct is one of the only regions in the country where an abundance of water resources is found (see Fig. 1): two large springs to the north, ‘En Zuf and ‘En Ha-Shayyara; two others to the west, ‘En Shefa and ‘En Giah, and a group of springs to the east, near Horbat Ga‘aton. The springs made it possible to irrigate most of the fields in the region by means of simple channels, until the establishment of State of Israel, when the irrigation was changed over to modern methods. However, the slope irrigated by the Nahal Ga‘aton aqueduct was not irrigated at the beginning of the twentieth century nor is it irrigated today. It seems that the installation of the Nahal Ga‘aton aqueduct was the apex of the water works in the region. It expanded the irrigated area to a region that was neither previously nor later irrigated. It is difficult to explain why the water works were abandoned and did not continue to operate until recent years.