Jewish Ritual Bath From Jesus’ Time Discovered at Gethsemane in Jerusalem
i24News – A Jewish ritual bath dating back 2,000 years was uncovered near the the garden of Gethsemane, near the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) announced on Monday.
The bath was found by archaeologists working with the IAA and scholars from the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum, a Franciscan research institute near the modern Church of Gethsemane.
According to the IAA, this is the first archaeological evidence of its kind to exist in Gethsemane during the Second Temple period.
Remains of an unknown church, which was built at the end of the Byzantine period and continued to be used during the Umayyad period, were also found in the excavation. It had been decorated in characteristic Byzantine style, which includes inscriptions in Greek in the floor, according to the IAA.
Custos of the Holy Land, Fr. Francesco Patton said, “Gethsemane is one of the most important holy places in the Holy Land. In this place, tradition remembers the sincere prayer of Jesus and his betrayal. Every year, millions of pilgrims visit and pray here. Recent excavations at this site have confirmed the ancient Christian tradition linked with this place.”
“This is very important for us and for the spiritual significance connected with these archaeological findings. I am very pleased to welcome this fruitful collaboration between the Custody of the Holy Land, the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum and the Israel Antiquities Authority, and I hope we can join our scientific competences for further future collaborations,” he concluded.