Rainer Riesner

Jewish ritual bath, or mikveh. Stone steps lead down to a small well of water, lower right, once used for ritual purification. Found during the author’s 1983 excavation at the Dormition Abbey, which stands adjacent to the site of the Judeo-Christian synagogue, this bath may have been used for baptism by members of the early Christian community. The author discovered a coin dating to 67 A.D. on a step of the bath, lying under a deep layer of destruction debris, suggesting that this area too, like the rest of Jerusalem, was destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D.