JERUSALEM (JTA) — A bathhouse that dates to the Byzantine period was uncovered in southern Israel.
The Israel Antiquities Authority uncovered the bathhouse during archeological excavations near Kibbutz Gevim, underwritten by the Israel Railways, prior to laying a railroad track from Ashkelon to Netivot.
The bathhouse appeared to have been destroyed in a cave-in, and then was used as a dump for household garbage. The building’s materials also were stolen for use elsewhere.
“We are dealing with a village whose economy was based on the production of wine and the manufacture of pottery vessels," according to Gregory Serai, director of the excavation. "The site was situated on a road that linked Beersheba with Gaza and probably began as a road station in the Roman period."