It's pretty common to daydream about having just one extra bathroom in your house. Getting ready in the mornings would be so much easier. You wouldn't have to wait around when you really need to go. You could relax and spread out all of your toiletries however you wanted. For one family in Jerusalem, this daydream became an odd reality when they discovered an extra bath hiding in their home. The catch? This ancient bath is over 2,000 years old.
You can't blame them for not discovering the bathroom right away. It was beneath the floorboards in the living room and down a steep set of stairs.
They noticed that there was something under their home while renovating their hardwood floors. They installed a trap door, finished their project and then called in a team to investigate.
Archeologist Amit Re'em identified it as a 2,000-year-old mikvah, a ritual bath used for purification and cleansing.
The location of the mikveh in Ein Karem, a southwest Jerusalem neighborhood that's often claimed to be the birthplace of John the Baptist, is what makes this find particularly of note to archeologists.
There's been disagreement among scholars as to the existence of a Jewish settlement in Ein Karem during the period between 538 B.C.E. and 70 C.E. However, the discovery of a mikvah further reinforces many historical hypotheses about Ein Karem's significance.
"Mikvah" is the Hebrew word for a collection of water. They are still in use by contemporary Jewish people worldwide. Since the mikvah is also thought to be the inspiration for Christian baptism, the discovery of this 2,000-year-old mikvah at Ein Karem is an important archeological discovery.
As well as an amazingly cool thing to find beneath the floorboards of your house.