The 1500-year-old Byzantine pool might have been built in the place Philip baptized the Ethiopian eunuch mentioned in Acts 8.
According to articles published by the Christian Post and World Israel News, the excavation director for the Israel Antiquities Authority, Irina Zilberbod, explained “this pool was built in the center of a spacious complex at the foot of a church that once stood here. Roofed colonnades were built around the pool that gave access to residential wings.” The pool might have been built on top of what some early Christian commentators claimed was the site where Saint Philip baptized the Ethiopian Eunuch, according to Acts 8:26–40. Dr. Yuval Baruch, the Jerusalem District Archaeologist, explained “the baptism of the eunuch by St. Philip was one of the key events in the spread of Christianity. Therefore, identifying the place where it occurred occupied scholars for many generations and became a common motif in Christian art.”
The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) filled the pools and took video to show the elaborate process of drainage, which culminates in a magnificent fountain. This is the oldest example of such an architectural feat in the Israel region.
Anyhow, archaeologist Irina Zilberbod also explained that, at the moment, it is difficult to know whether the pool was used for “for irrigation, washing, landscaping or perhaps as part of baptismal ceremonies at the site.”
If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.
Here are some numbers:
- 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
- Aleteia is published every day in eight languages: English, French, Arabic, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
- Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
- Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
- Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
- We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)
As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.
Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!