IMMERSION POOLS (later known as mikva’ot) began to appear in Judea around the end of the second century B.C.E. Designed to help observant Judeans restore their ritual purity through bathing, such pools attest to the widespread observance of the Torah’s purity laws. This public ritual bath from the Herodian fortress at Masada is one of hundreds discovered across Judea. It was constructed next to the site’s Western Palace and presumably used by Masada’s Judean defenders prior to their ultimate defeat at the hands of the conquering Romans during the Great Revolt (66–73/74 C.E.).