Danny Syon, courtesy Gamla Excavations

You bathe before bathing when using a mikveh, or ritual bath. Persons seeking ritual purification would first cleanse their body in a stone tub (see photograph and plan) and then descend the stairs into the mikveh. Visitors to the mikveh, here seen in a late stage of excavation, would then completely immerse themselves to achieve ritual purification. Plaster, necessary to hold in the water, covers the interior of the mikveh. The four mikva’ot found at Gamla indicate that observant Jews constituted most of the town’s population.