2,000-year-old ritual bath discovered in Gethsemane

by Jenny Mount · Jan 7th, 2021 3:41 pm

Last Updated Jan 8th, 2021 at 9:52 pm

Archaeologists have recently discovered a 2,000-year-old ritual bath, unearthing the only known archaeological find at Gethsemane that dates back to Biblical times.

"The discovery of this bath, unaccompanied by buildings, probably attests to the existence of an agricultural industry here 2,000 years ago — possibly producing oil or wine. The Jewish laws of purification obliged workers involved in oil and wine production to purify themselves," said a Jerusalem district archaeologist for the Israel Antiquities Authority, Amit Re'em.

Gethsemane, which is near Jerusalem and is where the Bible says that Jesus was betrayed by Judas and arrested, is important to many Christians.

"Gethsemane is one of the most important sanctuaries in the Holy Land, because in this place the tradition remembers the confident prayer of Jesus and his betrayal and because every year millions of pilgrims visit and pray in this place," Custos of the Holy Land, Francesco Patton said.

Visitors will be able to see the new discoveries, which will be incorporated into a visitor's center being built at the site.


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