Seventeen hundred years have passed since the farm was destroyed in an earthquake, and about fourteen hundred years since the place was completely abandoned, a huge bridge began to be built in the green valley that would carry a bypass road at the leading junction. One of the foot of the bridge was built at the foot of the hill, and a need arose to anchor it. To do this, deep foundation trenches must be dug in the rock at the foot of the hill, where the mikveh was exposed.
Since it was not possible to preserve the mikveh on the site, the idea arose to detach the installation from the rock and copy it to a protected site for display, for the benefit of the public.
The Israel Antiquities Authority, together with members of Kibbutz Hanaton, joined Operation Mikveh. The residents, who even launched a mass funding campaign for the benefit, offered to place the ancient mikveh next to the kibbutz’s active mikveh of purity. In cooperation with the Israel Antiquities Authority, the Ministry of Jerusalem and Heritage, Netivei Israel, the Jezreel Valley Regional Council and the residents, the necessary funding for the relocation of the ancient mikveh was obtained.
In the past week, preparatory work for the extraordinary copying operation was carried out with the help of Herod Engineering and accompanied by the Conservation Authority of the Israel Antiquities Authority. The mikveh was first sawn from all sides, detached from its base and surrounded by a steel cage in order to maintain it and allow it to be hoisted. Today, to the cheers of the kibbutz children and residents, it was hoisted in the air and placed in its new place.
According to Steve Gray, Anat Harel and many Haviva Ner-David, residents of Hanaton and activists in the mikveh copying initiative: “We at the kibbutz are so excited to create a historical and traditional connection with our roots in the Galilee. To renew the old and sanctify the new. It is a privilege to be part of the process.”
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