Portuguese plumbers discover ancient mikvas

By JTA
December 27, 2013 14:54

 
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Plumbers fixing a water leak in central Portugal discovered what appears to be a cluster of 600-year-old Jewish ritual baths.

The discovery was made earlier this year in the city of Coimbra as the plumbers were replacing the piping of an old building in what used to be the Jewish part of the Old City, according to a report Thursday by the Publico daily.

Jorge Alarcao, an archeologist who was called upon to study the structures, told the paper: “This could be the only discovery of its kind made in Portugal.”

The structures appear to be mikvahs, or ritual baths, predating the 14th century which were designed for Jewish women, according to Alarcao.

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