As to some of these alleged mikva’ot, there is fierce acacemic debate. Hanan Eshel, for example, argues that some of the pools at Sepphoris cannot be mikva’ot because they do not match later rabbinic descriptions of such baths. In his view, their small size, lack of a partition in the steps leading into the pool, and absence of a storage tank for water suggest that the pools were used for purposes other than removing impurity. Perhaps, he suggests, they were used for regular hygienic bathing. Hanan Eshel, “They’re Not Ritual Baths,” BAR 26:04. Most scholars note, however, that rabbinic opinions do not yet appear to have been authoritative as early as the first century. They also point out that if such pools were used for regular baths, we would expect to find them at a far greater range of sites, including those that were predominantly gentile. Eric M. Meyers, “Yes, They Are,” BAR 26:04; Ronny Reich, “They Are Ritual Baths,” BAR 28:02. In my opinion, it is far more likely that these pools are, indeed, mikva’ot.