Archaeology Magazine

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

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Ritual Bath Uncovered in Jerusalem

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

JERUSALEM, ISRAEL—Road construction in the Kiryat Menachem neighborhood of Jerusalem has uncovered a ritual bath complex dating to the late Second Temple Period. The bath is notable because it was placed in an underground chamber that received rainwater from three collecting basins on the roof. The water was transported to the bath through channels. “It’s interesting to note that the bath conforms to all of the laws of kashrut, like collecting the water in it naturally, without human contact, and ensuring that the water does not seep into the earth, which is why the bath was treated with a special kind of plaster,” said Benyamin Storchan on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority. The bath was later used as a quarry and a cistern.