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Test Your Knowledge #1

Where was the recent discovery of an ancient swimming pool made and when was the pool built? Test Your Knowledge logoAn ancient swimming pool was recently discovered during an archeological dig under a sewing factory — a find that was widely reported by the news media. Do you know where the discovery was made and when the swimming pool was built?

  1. In China; during the Qin Dynasty, approximately 2,200 years ago
  2. In India; during the Gupta Empire, around 1,600 years ago
  3. In Israel; during the Roman period, some 2,000 years ago
  4. In Egypt; during the reign of Amenhotep IV, around 3,300 years ago

To see the correct answer and learn more about this archeological find, see below.





The correct answer is:

3. Israel; during the Roman period, some 2,000 years ago.

The discovery - in the old Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem - was made by Israeli archeologists digging under a sewing factory in preparation for building a new Jewish ritual bath (mikveh) on the site. According to a news report on msnbc.msn.com, "History-rich Jerusalem is one of the most excavated cities in the world, and archaeologists are routinely deployed to examine sites ahead of any planned construction projects."

Israeli archeologists believe the swimming pool was part of a city the Romans built after they sacked Jerusalem nearly 2,000 years ago, following a revolt by the Jews. The Romans destroyed the second Jewish Temple in the year 7O A.D., after which they expelled nearly all Jews from Jerusalem.

The archaeologists found steps leading to the pool's white mosaic floor and hundreds of terra cotta roof tiles stamped with the name of the Roman unit - the Tenth Legion - that they believe built the pool. Ofer Sion, director of the Israel Antiquities Authority, suggests that the site was part of a larger complex where thousands of Roman soldiers once bathed. He estimates that the original pool was about 20 meters in length and five meters in width (approximately 65 x 16 feet).

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