The Israel Antiquities Authority recently announced the discovery: When a family in Jerusalem’s ‘Ein Kerem neighborhood began renovating their living room, they found more than they had bargained for. They uncovered a complete mikveh, approximately 11.5 feet long, 8 feet wide and 6 feet deep, which is now accessible through wooden doors in their living room floor. Carved from stone and plastered, the mikveh has steps leading to the bottom of the pool etched into it. Second Temple-period pottery and fragments of stone vessels were uncovered inside the mikveh.
The discovery establishes a Jewish connection in the area during the Second Temple period. This is especially significant to Christian tradition that identifies ‘Ein Kerem with “a city of Judah” mentioned in Luke 1:39 as the place where Mary the mother of Jesus met with her cousin Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, while they were both pregnant. It is also regarded as the birthplace of John the Baptist.