At the time of Weill’s excavation, Weill found a masonry wall, 1 foot high, on the front edge of the depression and a second masonry wall (which Weill calls a “bench”), 1 foot high, on the back edge of the depression. These walls, it appears from Weill’s description on page 68 (of the English translation), stretched the entire width of the cave, abutting the walls of the cave at a right angle. Thus, the cut depression, together with the two masonry walls, and the walls of the cave itself perpendicular to the masonry, all created a sort of “basin” 2 feet deep. This basin was found covered with a “blackish coating.” Weill suggested two stages to this find: (1) the depression itself, 1 foot deep; and (2) the masonry and the black coating. Weill identified the first stage as a sarcophagus, dating to the Iron Age. He identified the second stage as a 2-foot-deep bathing basin including the two masonry walls. He tentatively dated this second stage to the Second Temple period. Nothing remains of the masonry or of the black coating. All that can be seen today is the cut depression, i.e., Weill’s first stage. I thank Yonatan Adler for his assistance in parsing Weill’s description.
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