Mount Zion dig among top 10 2013 discoveries

The website Heritage Daily compiled the top 10 archaeological discoveries for 2013, and number five was the Early Roman period mansion discovered by a team co-directed by James Tabor, chair of religious studies.

Conducted during summer 2013, the dig on Jerusalem’s Mount Zion revealed the well-preserved lower levels of an Early Roman mansion that possibly belonged to a member of the Jewish ruling priestly caste. Particularly important in the discoveries were a buried vaulted chamber that has proven to be an unusual finished bathroom (with bathtub) adjacent to a large below-ground ritual cleansing pool (mikveh) — only the fourth bathroom to be found in Israel from the Second Temple period, with two of the others found in palaces of Herod the Great at Jericho and Masada.

Tabor noted the Heritage Daily list included archaeological finds from around the world, not just in Israel. The top discovery on the list was the unearthing of King Richard III by the University of Leicester.