Possible Priestly Mansion Found

October 20, 2013  

SEPTEMBER 2013—In excavating sites in a long-inhabited urban area like Jerusalem, archaeologists are accus-tomed to noting complexity in their finds—how various oc-cupying civilizations layer over one another during the site’s continuous use over millennia. But when an area has also been abandoned for intermittent periods, paradoxically there may be even richer finds uncovered, as some layers have been buried and remain undisturbed by development.

Such appears to be the case at an archaeological dig on Jerusalem’s Mount Zion…where the 2013 excavations have revealed the well-preserved lower levels of what the archaeo-logical team believes is an Early Roman period mansion (first century AD), possibly belonging to a member of the Jewish ruling priestly caste.

Particularly important in the season’s discoveries were a buried vaulted chamber that has proven to be an unusual finished bathroom (with bathtub) adjacent to a large below-ground ritual cleansing pool (mikveh)—only the fourth bath-room to be found in Israel from the Second Temple period, with two of the others found in palaces of Herod the Great at Jericho and Masada.

– -Breaking Christian News, 9/18/2013

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