Israeli archaeologists discover 2,000-year-old ritual bath in Jerusalem

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JERUSALEM, July 14 (Xinhua) -- Israeli archaeologists have discovered a 2,000-year-old ritual bath in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (HU) said on Thursday.

The bath was discovered in excavations led by the HU, in collaboration with the Israel Antiquities Authority and the Ministry of Jerusalem and Heritage, as part of the construction of elevators that will connect the quarter to the Western Wall.

The bath, which was found hewn in the rock, was entirely preserved. It is uniquely located on a cliff that separated the upper city, which included the luxurious residences of the Jewish priests, and Jerusalem's holy site, known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

The bath was hewn under the 21-km long lower-level aqueduct that supplied water to ancient Jerusalem, according to the archaeologists.

Besides the bath, a pool built by the Tenth Roman Legion and a cistern with about 40 cooking pots were also found during the excavations.

The many canals, cisterns and pools uncovered attest to massive construction activities related to water supply that have been carried out at the area over the generations, said HU archaeologist Oren Gutfeld. Enditem

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