NEW YORK, NY – An 1,800-year-old bathing pool that was probably part of a bathhouse used by the Tenth Legion – the Roman soldiers who destroyed the Temple – has been exposed in excavations by the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) in Jerusalem. The discovery sheds light on the scope of Aelia Capitolina, the city that was founded on the Second Temple period ruins of Jerusalem and that defined the character of ancient Jerusalem as we know it today.
“This discovery continues to prove that Israel is unlike any other place on earth; every stone in Israel tells a story,” said Haim Gutin, Israel Commissioner of Tourism, North and South America. “We encourage you to visit for yourself, because once you visit Israel- you’ll never be the same.”
According to IAA Jerusalem District archaeologist Dr. Yuval Baruch: “What we have here is a discovery that is important for the study of Jerusalem. Despite the very extensive archaeological excavations that were carried out in the Jewish Quarter, so far not even one building has been discovered there that belonged to the Roman legion. The absence of such a find led to the conclusion that Aelia Capitolina, the Roman city which was established after the destruction of Jerusalem, was small and limited in area. The new find, together with other discoveries of recent years, shows that the city was considerably larger than what we previously estimated.
The uncovered remains of the ancient Roman bathhouse will be integrated into the new ritual bath that is slated to be built in the Jewish Quarter.