Ancient Mikveh Unearthed in Negev Desert

Archeological Find Points to Jewish Settlement in South

By Haaretz

Published September 03, 2012.

Israeli archaeologists have discovered Byzantine-era ritual baths during an Israel Antiquities Authority excavation along Route 6 - the Trans-Israel Highway.

Two mikvehs and two public structures, dating back to the 6th century, were found in the southern segment of the road. Archaeologists believe the ruins point to the existence of an ancient Jewish town in the Negev.

“At the request of the Trans-Israel Highway, we performed digs along the southbound portion of the road,” said Nir Shimshon-Paran, head of archaeological digs at the antiquities authority.

“We carried out excavations – meant to document any relics in the area before development or road pavement work was started – and discovered two mikvehs, and two public structures, which, according to certain parameters, fit the criteria for synagogues,” said Paran.

For more, go to Haaretz.com



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