In our earlier reconstructions, we drew only a single building in this area—a bathhouse—between the Double and Triple Gates. But this was only a tentative decision. With the discovery of a drainage channel (a feature usually found under Herodian streets) running south through this area, we concluded that a stepped street must have separated the area between the two gates into a western and an eastern half, with separate buildings on either side. This called for a new interpretation of the function of these buildings between the Double and Triple Gates—buildings that were heavily reconstructed in later times. The building west of the stepped street, now drawn at a considerably reduced size from our original reconstructions, was designated as a mikveh (ritual bathhouse) for purification before entering the sanctuary. Locating one of the courts of law east of the stepped street provides a very probable solution to the puzzle of the function of the rest of the building complex.

Join the BAS Library!

Already a library member? Log in here.

Institution user? Log in with your IP address.