The cities of the Iron Age II within the Kingdom of Israel and within the Kingdom of Judah are characterized by a plan that has modular components, among them installations for drawing and/or collecting water.

A water system at Tell Sheva was excavated by Herzog and Ginton. This water system includes a staircase and an underground water reservoir that are incorporated in the town planning. It should be noted that the system is located at the point farthest away from the city gate. The system operated from the tenth century BCE until the destruction of the city.

Another source of water that was exposed next to and outside the city’s outer gate is a well. This source of water, which is dated to the Iron Age I settlement, ceased to exist and was reused again in the eighth century BCE. Yochanan Aharoni ascribed the well to the Iron Age city. Aharoni provided a number of reasons for the well being located outside the gate. This led to a futile debate (with Y. Yadin) over the function and use of the water conduit that drained the surface runoff and passed through the gates.

It seems to me that the well does not belong to the Iron Age water system and its ascription to the Iron Age I stems from it having penetrated through layers from this period. It should be pointed out that the city wall fortification at the site has a glacis that had to reach very close to the gate opening. The structure of the glacis did not make it possible for the well to have existed together with the glacis. It therefore seems to me that the well belongs to a later period, namely to the Roman citadel at the top of the tell. The location of the well far from the citadel stems from the desire to reach the natural bedrock in the shortest possible way [while avoiding the construction of retaining walls that were required if the well had been dug near the citadel].

At Tell Arad a reservoir was found in the main depression of the Early Bronze Age city. A well was dug in a later period in the same depression. In the excavations directed by R. Amiran a well was found in the depression. O. Ilan and M. Saban dated the well to the time of the Iron Age citadel. Although Iron Age ceramics were found in the well, this material was nevertheless found together with later material – Early Roman [next to the well are water installations from the same time]. Even if the material was ‘clean’ it would not necessarily date the well [a similar instance: Mycenaean ceramic material was found in the Gezer water system, yet the water system is Iron Age]. Therefore the well was not used as a source of water for the water system – the reservoir that is beneath the Iron Age citadel.