WATER SHAFT. An underground conduit for bringing water from a spring into a city. There is archeological evidence for water shafts at Jerusalem and Megiddo from the Canaanite period onward. At Jerusalem there is a tunnel to the spring of Gihon which brought water to the city. Some scholars think that 2 Samuel 5:8 refers to this. Installations have also been found at Gibeon, Etham, and Yibleam. It is obvious that if a city had access to a reliable water supply it could hold out in time of siege, as Samaria did for over two years against the Assyrians in 722 b.c., and as Jerusalem did against the Babylonians for one and one-half years in 586 b.c.