A few weeks ago you came on our small group night hike to a little-known ancient cistern just outside Meitar.
I went back on my own in the sunlight to explore better.
Several meters above the ceiling of the cistern I found the opening from which people (farmers? monks?) would lower their buckets and draw water some 1,500 years ago.
Now it is covered with rebar so no one will fall in.
Lower down you see the built stone wall near the entrance to the cistern.
The sign says "Cistern [ma-agurah]. A typical Roman and Byzantine era water-collection cistern."
The ancients did a beautiful job of carving it out of the soft chalk stone.
A major disappointment was to find the carved steps were now worn down to almost nothing, very slippery and on a steep incline.
I was dying to see the inside but I really didn't want to die alone in the desert if I slipped and fell into the deep cistern. No one would have found me.
From a distance you can see how rain water from the higher hills ran down and collected in the big cistern.
Probably in former times there were channels to direct the rain water.
"DANGER! -- open pit" sign in Hebrew and Arabic.
I turned back to head home through the forest on the Israel Trail.
(Linking to ABC Wednesday U-Day and to signs, signs.)