2,000 year-old Jewish ritual bath uncovered in the Galilee

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by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) – Archaeologists have unearthed a 2,000-year-old mikveh (a Jewish ritual bath) in the Galilee region of Israel, CBN News reported on Thursday. The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) said the mikveh was discovered among the ruins of an ancient Jewish farmstead dating back to the Second Temple Period.

The discovery was made during an excavation near the Hamovil junction in Lower Galilee, shortly before work was due to begin on the construction of a highway in the area. According to excavation directors Abd Elghani Ibrahim and Dr. Walid Atrash, this is the first time the remains of ancient Jewish farms in the Galilee, CBN News reports.

“The existence of a mikveh, a purification facility, unequivocally indicates that the residents of the ancient farm were Jewish, who led a religious and traditional way of life, and maintained purity as a Torah commandment. Ritual baths have been used in daily life by Jews since the Second Temple period and until today,” Ibrahim and Atrash told CBN News.

“The discovery of the mikveh in the farmstead changes what we knew about the lifestyle of the Jews in the Second Temple period. Until now we hadn’t discovered Jewish farms in the Galilee. It was considered that the Jews in the Roman period didn’t live in farms outside the villages or towns. The discovery of the farmstead at some distance from the village of the Shikhin and the large Jewish town of Sepphoris, showed that Jews also settled in farmsteads, that perhaps functioned as the rural hinterland of Sepphoris,”the excavation directors said.

Archaeologists removed the ancient bath from the ground and transferred it to a nearby kibbutz for proper preservation, CBN News reports.

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