Collection of N. Miron, Jerusalem; © The Israel Museum, Jerusalem

Hygeia, the daughter of Asclepius and goddess of health and hygiene, is pictured on some of Aelia Capitolina’s coins. Seated on a rock, she feeds a serpent from a phiale in her hand. The bowl of Hygeia and Asclepius’s rod encircled by a serpent are still symbols of medicine and pharmacology. Although Asclepius and Hygeia were worshiped for several centuries in Aelia Capitolina (formerly Jerusalem), their cults were eventually overshadowed by Christianity. Revered as the birthplace of Mary the mother of Jesus, a basilica was constructed over the pools and Asclepion in the Byzantine period. In the Crusader period, a church was built and named for St. Anne, the grandmother of Jesus; the site has retained this identity ever since.