Israeli family discovers ancient treasure under living room

AP News
Posted: Jul 01, 2015 9:56 AM

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli authorities say they have unearthed a rare, well-preserved 2,000-year-old-Jewish ritual bath hidden under the floorboard of a family home in Jerusalem.

Archaeologists said Wednesday that the discovery shines new light on ancient Jewish and early Christian communities in the area. But the discovery might be most noteworthy because the couple who owns the home literally kept the treasure hidden under a rug for three years before choosing to come clean.

The couple say they found evidence of the mikveh, or Jewish ritual bath, while renovating the home three years ago. But they were unsure of the significance and continued with the construction. They ultimately decided to hide it under a trap door and carpet.

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This week, they could no longer contain their curiosity and alerted authorities to their secret.