Discovery and History of Research.
In October 1875, Claude R. Coder reported on Henry Maudsley’s excavation in the area of the miqvaot on Mount Zion. According to him, 36 steps led up to the above to two baths. The rock-hewn steps led in a south-eastern direction onto a level containing the two miqvaot, which he initially misinterpreted as two cisterns. The vault of one of these baths (the northwestern) was found still intact: „They are cut into the rock, with broad steps, giving six feet of water at the back of each. The first (scil. the western) is roofed with beautiful masonry in a round barrel vault.“
Roughly a century after the establishment of the cemetery, Pioneers Frederick Bliss and Archibald Dickie explored the area during the years between 1894 and 1897.
After Bliss and Dickie, it again took a century until the Benedictine monk Bargil Pixner who, motivated by his religious interests, was seeking to find remains of the times of Jesus on Mt. Zion. Based around the two miqvaot, as well as another one nearby (Plot 29), Pixner theorizes of an Essene settlement on Mt. Zion based on accounts of the Essenes particular sense for purity. Yet, Jewish ritual baths are common throughout many other parts of Jerusalem and thus could hardly be seen as evidence, flawing his theory. Pixner dated the ritual bath to a timeframe between 53 BC until 70 AD.