HOUSE, 1st CENTURY JERUSALEM
Reconstruction of the home of a wealthy citizen, 1st century Jerusalem
A model of the house of a wealthy resident of 1st century Jerusalem, most probably a member of the priestly aristocracy. This reconstruction is based on excavations by Professor Nahman Avigad.
A number of private houses have been excavated in the Upper City of Jerusalem, formerly an enclave for the wealthy and powerful. One of these houses belonged to the priestly Bar-Kathros family, who lived there in the years leading up to Jerusalem's destruction in 70AD.
The number of stepped baths, mikvehs and cisterns in the area is remarkable - evidence of strict adherence to the purity laws by the people who lived there.
The houses follow the same style as other homes for the wealthy in the Roman world: two storeys, with rooms arranged around a couryard reached from outside by a narrow entrance.
The houses had a mosaic pavement made up of geometric patterns like those found at Masada. A marble table whose edge was decorated with an 'egg-and-lotus-flower' pattern and rosettes was also found.
The houses of the rich were small by our standards, but this was because space inside the city walls was limited. Just to live there, especially in the area of the Upper City, was a status symbol in itself.
Archaeological remains of the Burnt House, Upper City, Jerusalem
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