Koby Harati, City of David Archives.
- The Pool of Siloam will be fully excavated and open to the public for the first time in almost 2,000 years.
- Built some 2,700 years ago, it was originally a holy site for ancient Jewish pilgrims.
- The New Testament says it is where Jesus performed the miracle of healing a blind man.
The Pool of Siloam, which the New Testament Bible says is where Jesus healed a man who was born blind, will be fully excavated and open to the public for the “first time in modern history,” Israeli authorities said.
According to MailOnline, the public has been unable to visit most of the religiously significant site for approximately two millennia. The pool was destroyed and covered after the First Jewish–Roman War 70 years after the birth of Christ. A small section of it has been accessible for several years, however, the New York Post reported.
But, in the coming months, an excavation will completely expose the ancient pool, allowing visitors to view it as part of a tourist route, the Israel Antiquities Authority, Israel National Parks Authority, and the City of David Foundation said in a statement provided to Insider.
Located in the southern part of Jerusalem’s City of David, an important area for studying biblical archaeology, the Pool of Siloam was first constructed some 2,700 years ago, the statement said. It underwent multiple stages of development and reconstruction in its history, per Israeli authorities.
The pool originally functioned as part of Jerusalem’s ancient water system, later becoming a site of religious significance for ancient Jewish people. Religious pilgrims used it as a “mikveh,” or a ritual bath, to cleanse themselves before visiting the holy Temple, according to the statement.
It later took on a religious significance for Christians too. According to the Gospel of John, the fourth of the four New Testament narratives, a blind man gained sight after Jesus told him to wash in the Pool of Siloam.
A rendering of the Pool of Siloam during the Second Temple period.
Shalom Kveller, City of David Archives
The Pool of Siloam was destroyed and covered around 70 AD by the Romans, per the Los Angeles Times, and it was only rediscovered many years later in 2004. A water company carrying out infrastructure work for a sewage pipe accidentally discovered steps to the pool, Israeli authorities said in the statement.
An excavation commenced, and the Israeli Antiques Authority uncovered steps on three sides of the pool, the LA Times said.
Moshe Lion, Jerusalem’s mayor, described the Pool of Siloam in a statement as “a site of historic, national, and international significance.”
He added: “After many years of anticipation, we will soon merit being able to uncover this important site and make it accessible to the millions of visitors visiting Jerusalem each year.”