The miqveh was rock-hewn and poorly preserved. A staircase consisting of five steps (L2; Figs. 2, 3) descended westward into the immersion pool (L3). Only the northeastern corner of the pool survived. Its western side was destroyed when the cistern was quarried (L5). The miqveh’s floor is discernibly higher than that of the cistern. Remains of light gray plaster were discovered above a bedding of small stones and grog on the northern side of the miqveh. Several pottery sherds, including a jar rim (Fig. 5:8, below), as well as a stone vessel (Fig. 5:14, below), were discovered in the miqveh, which was sealed and was no longer used when the cistern was installed.
Cistern. For safety reasons, mechanical equipment was utilized to remove the ceiling of the cistern, thus exposing its bell-like shape (4 × 5 m, depth c. 6 m; Fig. 4). While installing the cistern, the immersion pool was made deeper and larger. The entrance to the miqveh, from the east, was blocked with large fieldstones, and the steps were no longer used. Fragments of plaster were discovered in the collapse that had accumulated in the cistern, indicating that the its walls were treated with plaster.
The Finds. A small, mixed assemblage of pottery sherds from the Hasmonean, Early Roman and Byzantine periods was discovered. Most of the ceramic finds were from a layer of brown soil that had accumulated in the lower part of the cistern and on its floor. Fragments of two types of cooking pots were found: a straight rim with a carinated shoulder (Fig. 5:3) and a straight rim with a long neck (Fig. 5:4); both are characteristic of the first century and early second century CE. A spherical juglet (Fig. 5:5), common from the end of the first century BCE until the beginning of the second century CE, and a jug (Fig. 5:6) with a triangular rim and a rounded body from the first century CE, were also found.
Most of the sherds found in the cistern belonged to jars (Fig. 5:7–13). The predominant type from the Hasmonean period has a folded rim, which has several versions. Jars 7 and 8 have a short folded rim, whereas Jars 9 and 10 have a broad folded rim and a slightly longer neck. The jar in Fig. 5:11 evolved from a type common in the Early Roman period (end of first century BCE–first century CE). Jars 12 and 13 have a thickened, protruding rim; they are a common type that dates from the end of the first century BCE–first century CE. The base of a stone vessel (Fig. 5:14) belongs to a type of measuring cup that was widely used in Jewish settlements during the Second Temple period. Two bowls rims (Fig. 5:1, 2) dating to the Byzantine period (fourth–sixth centuries CE) were also found.
at Khirbat Burnat
was part of the Jewish settlement (Torgë 2012
). It was installed in the Hasmonean or Early Roman period when the settlement was growing, like seven other ritual baths discovered in the settlement itself (Amit, Torgë and Gendelman 2009
:104). The dating of the ceramic finds is consistent with that of the settlement strata exposed in previous excavations. The cistern was installed after the Bar Kokhba Revolt and the abandonment of the Jewish settlement. This most probably took place during the Byzantine period (fourth–sixth centuries CE), when limited activity transpired at the site, as indicated by the results of previous excavations (Amit, Torgë and Gendelman 2009