The archeological excavations in 1967 revealed to us a whole world of history – 3000 years of history. The special mikveh that is a type of stepped pool was discovered in the place that was to become the central plaza of the Jewish quarter.
After the unification of Jerusalem in 1967, a massive archeological excavation was started in all of the Jewish quarter. The opportunity to dig was taken in every place there was damage and destruction before rebuilding started. In the center of the quarter that was quite devastated a number of ruins from the second temple period were found. A stepped mikveh, which is descended to from four sides. Research has revealed that there are only four mikvehs of this type that we know to exist in Jerusalem.
On the western hill there was a magnificent Jewish neighborhood. Here lived the nobility of the city of Jerusalem.
The excavations reveal that the residents of the city lived in impressive houses and each house had several mikvahs. In the Jewish Quarter, a different and unique mikvah was revealed that can be descended to from four directions. Similar mikvehs were found in the excavations of the southern wall – in the Ophel, in the Western Wall tunnels – under the Robinson Arch and at the southern end of the City of David – the Shiloach Pool.
One of the special finds found in the Jewish Quarter is located in the Hurva Square. A mikveh that dates to the end of the Second Temple period (first century CE). Probably destroyed in 70 CE.
Unlike most of the mikvahs that were exposed in the Jewish Quarter, which have stairs leading down from one side, this mikveh was descended to from all sides. Which allowed more people to dip together. There is no factual basis to call the Stepped Mikvah a mikvah for vessels. This magnificent mikvah is one of the most impressive and complete remains of a very magnificent neighborhood that was founded in the Herodian period on the western hill of Jerusalem.
Mikvah in the shape of an inaccurate rectangle. It is a surrounded by stairs (steps on four sides) with gray plaster that is characteristic of the period.
The width of the stairs is not uniform, their height is around 180 cm. You can still see the plaster layer of the mikvah, the structure of the mikveh and parts of the surrounding walls.
The upper part of the mikveh was destroyed in later periods, by massive construction. During the Byzantine period, the mikveh changed its purpose. The Byzantines cut the bottom step of the miqwe and turned it into a Byzantine cistern.
3. Coin from the Late Roman period