The Mikveh Excavation Continues
It’s been a few weeks since my last report on the most recent round of mikveh excavations, and a lot has happened. Archaeologists have been in the Lloyd Street Synagogue clearing, digging, and sifting through the dirt (and mud).
Last week the excitement surrounding the dig began to increase. First, we hit water. A few of the museum staff had a moment of panic when they heard water – imagining a gushing flood (like Old Faithful maybe), but that wasn’t the case. The archaeologists had been digging down into an area they believed to be the 1845 mikveh itself, and had reached the water table – essentially they had standing water. While we were spared the trials of gushing and flowing water, this did mean that the deeper the archaeologists dug the more water they would encounter. In order to continue the investigation they have been pumping water out as they go.
But far more exciting than encountering water (at least to me) was discovering nineteenth century pottery and bottle fragments. Some of the pieces have markings that can help us identify their use and age. They most likely ended up in the mikveh when it was filled in before Baltimore Hebrew Congregation expanded the Lloyd Street Synagogue in 1860.
We have a few more days of excavations left, then the archaeologists will work on a report that includes all of their discoveries. Look for at least one more blog post before it’s all wrapped up.