The Pool of Siloam will be fully excavated and opened to the public for the first time in nearly 2,000 years.
Built around 2,700 years ago, it was originally a holy place for ancient Jewish pilgrims.
The New Testament says that it was there that Jesus performed the miracle of healing a blind man.
The Pool of Siloam, mentioned in the New Testament Bible, where Jesus healed a man born blind, will be fully excavated and opened to the public “for the first time in modern history,” Israeli authorities said.
According to MailOnline, the public has not been able to visit most places of religious significance for about two millennia. The pool was destroyed and filled in after the First Jewish-Roman War, 70 years after the birth of Christ. However, a small part of it has been available for several years, as reported by the New York Post.
However, in the coming months, excavations will completely uncover the ancient pool, allowing visitors to view it as part of a tourist itinerary, Israeli security officials have said.
Located in the southern part of the City of David in Jerusalem, an important area for the study of biblical archaeology, the Pool of Siloam was first built approximately 2,700 years ago, the statement said. According to Israeli authorities, it has undergone many stages of development and reconstruction in its history.
The pool originally functioned as part of Jerusalem’s ancient water system, later becoming a site of religious significance to the ancient Jews. According to the statement, religious pilgrims used it as a “mikveh” or ritual bath to cleanse themselves before visiting a holy temple.
Later it acquired religious significance for Christians as well. According to the Gospel of John, the fourth of the four New Testament narratives, a blind man regained his sight after Jesus told him to wash himself in the Pool of Siloam.
The Pool of Siloam was destroyed and buried around AD 70 by the Romans, according to the Los Angeles Times, and was not rediscovered until many years later in 2004. Israeli authorities said in a statement.
Excavations have begun, and the Israeli Antiquities Authority has discovered steps on three sides of the basin, the LA Times reports.
Moshe Lion, the mayor of Jerusalem, described the Pool of Siloam in a statement as “a site of historical, national and international importance.”
He added: “After many years of waiting, we will soon deserve to discover this important site and make it available to the millions of visitors to Jerusalem every year.”
Read the original article in Business Insider