Courtesy Martin Seyer

HOLY BASIN? Numerous Jewish architectural features have surfaced in a partially excavated building next to Limyra’s city wall. One of the most intriguing features is a square basin found in the northeast corner of Room 1. Fed by rainwater, the basin measures 4.25 feet long and wide and 3 feet high. Its floor is paved with stones, and its walls are covered with plaster. Inside, a low bench of hewn stones rests against the basin’s southern wall.

Immediately outside of the basin’s entrance is an intricately carved limestone slab. Two hewn-stone benches were found elsewhere in Room 1: One rested against the western wall, the other against the southern wall of the basin. Also discovered in the immediate proximity to this room were fragments of chancel screens with Jewish symbols that were reused as paving stones.

Considering all of the Jewish elements in this room, should this tub be interpreted as a mere water basin—or a mikveh?