Courtesy Yizhar Hirschfeld

Unused oil lamps. Scores of lamps like these, intact and not marked with the telltale soot that blackens a lamp even after one use, were found in the small pool the excavators call the Lepers’ Pool.

Antoninus of Piacenza, a sixth century pilgrim who visited Hammat Gader, wrote of the lepers’ procession to their pool: “They are sent in through a small door with lights and incense and sit in the tank all night.” Perhaps these excavated lamps were part of a special supply kept for the lepers’ use at Hammat Gader.