Courtesy Yehonadav Meltzer/Archaeological Seminars Institute
CAVE BATHING. Throughout the cave complexes are nearly two dozen rock-cut chambers with small baths that may have been for ritual bathing, similar to Jewish mikva’ot in Judea. This example, tucked away at the bottom of a narrow flight of stairs and measuring about 5 feet long and 2.5 feet wide, was a sitting bath in which the bather sat on the bottommost curved step at the very bottom of the photo with their legs and feet extended into the shallow pool. Water would then flow through the channel and opening above (visible at upper left of photo) and wash over the bather.