Archaeologists in Jerusalem have made an extraordinary discovery. In an underground cave where an ancient ritual bath or mikvah sits, the experts have discovered a wall decked with symbols, drawings and inscriptions they believe was written during the Second Temple Period or first century.
The walls had been treated in ancient plaster, while its inscriptions were written using mud and soot. Experts denote these are Aramaic inscriptions in Hebrew scripts, which was common during its period.
Drawn on the walls were an image of boats and palm trees, as well as different plants. There was also an inscription of what looked like a menorah.
A preschool was being planned for construction on the site, but inspectors from the Israel Antiques Authority discovered the ancient bath during a routine check two months ago. Due to the city's rich history, these inspections are regularly done in Israel, according to The Blaze.
"There is no doubt that this is a very significant discovery Such a concentration of inscriptions and symbols from the Second Temple period at one archaeological site, and in such a state of preservation, is rare and unique and most intriguing," said Royee Greenwald from the agency in the report.
"On the one hand the symbols can be interpreted as secular, and on the other as symbols of religious significance and deep spirituality," he added.
For now, the discovery is still a mystery to the experts and more questions have yet to be answered, including the connection of the drawings with the mikvah. During the ancient days, the mikvah was used during holy days and Sabbath cleansing, and while some of the drawings are of religious nature, there are also symbols that have no religious implications at all.
The archaeologists also said that the area's walls are vulnerable and sensitive that it may easily incur damages even with just an exposure to air. The Israel Antiques Authority has since done treatments to the site in order to stabilize and preserve the find, according to Jewish Business News.
"The large education system in Jerusalem is always in need of additional school buildings. The unique find was discovered in a compound where two nursery schools are slated to be built. The archaeological and historical site that was exposed is of tremendous value to our identity as a Jewish people which might shine more light on the lives of our ancestors in the city of Jerusalem," said Moshe Tur-Paz, of the Jerusalem Municipality in the news outlet.
Take a look at the inscriptions in this video documentation below.