The Pool of Siloam is a pool cut into the rock, adjacent to the ancient City of David. It was fed by waters of the Gihon springs, which would qualify it as a Mikvah for ritual purifications. The Pilgrimage road connects the Pool of Siloam, the City of David, the Western Wall and the Temple Mount, and had been thought to have been built by King Herod for use by Pilgrims, who would stop at the pool to ritually purify themselves on the way to the temple. Recent studies suggest that it was built after Herod’s reign.
The original Pilgrim’s road was 600 meters, of which the southern 350 have been excavated and are now open to the public. “Today, for the first time, once can walk along one of the main streets of ancient Jerusalem, get an impression of its sights and receive answers to fascinating historical questions… about the history of Jerusalem during the Second Temple period,” said Dr. Yuval Baruch, Jerusalem archaeologist at the Israel Antiquities Authority, as quoted in the City of David Foundation’s article presenting the unveiling.
The road was discovered under a potato field in 2004 when a sewage pipe burst, and municipal workers went in to make repairs. Advanced research methods were utilized to excavate without disturbing modern Jerusalem more than necessary. The excavation revealed much about the history of ancient Jerusalem. The residents, as indicated by the buildings and the coins that were discovered, were wealthier than had been previously believed. Ruins revealed even details of the diet of the people who lived through the destruction of Jerusalem.
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