Ancient ritual bath found under couples living room floor Miriam Berger, The Associated Press First posted: Wednesday, July 01, 2015 PM EDT | Updated: Wednesday, July 01, 2015 PM EDT JERUSALEM -- Israeli authorities said Wednesday they have identified a rare, well-preserved 2,000-year-old Jewish ritual bath hidden under the floorboards of a home in Jerusalem.

ancient dating rituals-56ancient dating rituals-62

The family does not have to move and will keep the ritual bath preserved with the help of the Antiquities Authority.

Tal places a ladder from his living room on July 1, 2015, leading to an ancient Jewish ritual bath (mikveh), dating from the Second Temple Period and believed to be over 2,000 years old.

(AFP PHOTO/GALI TIBBON) Oriya looks down at a ladder from her living room on July 1, 2015, leading to an ancient Jewish ritual bath (mikveh), dating from the Second Temple Period and believed to be over 2,000 years old.

Amit Reem, an archaeologist with the authority, estimated the ritual bath dates back to the first century B. The bath remains largely intact, and includes a staircase leading to what was once a pool.

Archeologists also found pottery and unique stone vessels dating to the same period.

According to Christian tradition, John the Baptist is said to have been born in the Jewish community around Ein Kerem around the first century.

Reem said the discovery adds to the physical evidence of the Jewish community in the area, which he said has been "sporadic." Reem said it is not uncommon for households around Jerusalem to unearth Jewish antiquities under their floorboards, though he did not know how many cases there were.

Construction workers were using heavy machinery that sunk through a hole, leading the crew to discover the bath.

She said that she and her husband were unsure of the significance and continued with the planned construction.