The mansion was built close to the walls of the Second Temple, erected by King Herod the Great in biblical times. It boasted a three-pit oven — a luxury in those days — as well as a private walk-in ritual pool and a separate bathroom.
The bathtub is one of the most significant clues in the mystery surrounding the mansion’s owners. Only three other such tubs have been linked to the Second Temple period in Israel, Gibson said. Two of them were unearthed in Herod’s palaces at Jericho and Masada, and the third was found in a priestly residence excavated nearby in Jerusalem’s Jewish Quarter.
Story: Alan Boyle, NBC News | Photo: Shimon Gibson, UNC Charlotte