Archaeologists say they have uncovered a first-century mansion on Jerusalem’s Mount Zion, complete with an ancient bathtub that just might have belonged to one of the priests who condemned Jesus to death.
“Byzantine tradition places in our general area the mansion of the high priest Caiaphas or perhaps Annas, who was his father-in-law,” Shimon Gibson, the archaeologist co-directing the excavation, said in a news release. “In those days you had extended families who would have been using the same building complex, which might have had up to 20 rooms and several different floors.”
The mansion’s location and its fancy features are the main lines of evidence for surmising that a member of the priestly class lived there, according to Gibson and the dig’s other co-director, James Tabor, a scholar of early Christian history at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. UNC Charlotte has been licensed by Israeli authorities to conduct the Mount Zion excavation.