Todd Bolen/

WATERSHED DISCOVERY. The steps of the Pool of Siloam of Jesus’ day were uncovered in 2004—southeast of the Byzantine pool, the site traditionally held to be the Pool of Siloam. Archaeologists Ronny Reich and Eli Shukron identified two steps, which were unearthed during a sewer repair by city authorities, as belonging to the Second Temple Siloam Pool. Recognizing the importance of the steps, Reich and Shukron quickly halted the sewer repair and launched their own excavation.

They uncovered one side of the pool—a length of 225 feet—with 15 steps in total. The steps are divided into three segments of five steps each with broad landings between the segments. Reich identified the pool as a large mikveh (a Jewish ritual bath). Bathers would have enjoyed a view of the Kidron Valley, east of the City of David.