2,000-year-old ritual bath unearthed in Israel


Share post:

The Israel Antiquities Authority has discovered the remains of a mikve (ritual bath) from the Second Temple period (first century BCE-first century CE) as part of an archeological rescue dig prior to the installation of a water line by the Mekorot Company at an antiquities site, c. 2 kilometers north of Kibbutz Tzora. 

View of the miqve during excavation [Credit: Israel Antiquities Authority]

The excavation revealed a square structure that has three walls treated with a thin layer of plaster that facilitated the storage of water. A channel used to drain water into the ritual bath was installed in a corner. In addition, a plaster floor and three stairs that descend from it to the west (toward the hewn openings in the bedrock) were exposed. 

Archaeologist Pablo Betzer, excavation director on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, is excited by the findings “This is the first time that any remains dating to the Second Temple period have been exposed in this region. 

We know from the Talmud and from non-Jewish sources that on this ridge, as in most of the Judean coastal plain, there was an extensive Jewish community 2,000 years ago that existed until the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE.  Yet despite the many surveys and excavations that have been carried out to date no remains from this period have been discovered so far.” 

Source: Israel National News [Octoner 11, 2011]



Related articles

Cosmochemists find evidence of rare element in early solar system

University of Chicago scientists have discovered evidence in a meteorite that a rare element, curium, was present during...

Amazonian tribal warfare sheds light on modern violence

In the tribal societies of the Amazon forest, violent conflict accounted for 30 percent of all deaths before...

Two new monuments uncovered at Karnak Temple

This week, during their routine excavation work, the French-Egyptian archaeological team working at the Karnak Temple in Luxor...

How Big Data is being used to protect a Spanish UNESCO World Heritage site

Twentieth-century Spanish novelist Azorín once described Ávila as “the most 16th-century of all Spanish cities,” generously endowed as...

A star’s moment in the spotlight

The glowing region in this new image from the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope is a reflection nebula known as...

Microscope will seek biological samples on red planet

One of the ultimate goals of Mars exploration is to bring samples from the surface to Earth, especially...

Non-genetic inheritance and changing environments

In the last two decades climate change emerged as a momentous threat to ecosystems and species, calling for...

Weir complex and medieval quay the latest archaeological finds in Galway bay

An extensive tidal weir complex close to Barna and a late medieval quay on Mutton Island have become...