web analytics
October 2, 2014 / 8 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Jerusalem Home Harbors Buried Second Temple Artifacts

The Siebenberg House Museum in Jerusalem’s Old City Reopens to Public.
Archeological digging at Siebenberg Museum.

Archeological digging at Siebenberg Museum.

Miriam Siebenberg lives in a very unusual house – unusual because of the fact that her home was built on top of another home, one that existed over 2,000 years ago. Within the ancient walls of Jerusalem’s Old City, Miriam and her husband Theo purchased a house after the Six Day War, eventually discovering that it contained a treasure trove of history buried deep underground.

In the Siebenberg’s house, a collection of archaeological artifacts discovered after years of digging in the basement, appear on display. Arrowheads, ink-wells, coins, ancient pottery, a glass cup and pieces of jewelry including a bronze key ring, likely used in the Second Temple era by a woman to unlock her jewelry box, can all be seen in the display.

But even more intriguing is what lies beneath their home. One can see the remains of an ancient Jewish residence and a way of life that dates back to the days of King Solomon and the Second Temple period. “The further we dug, the more history we uncovered,” Seibenberg told Tazpit News Agency in an exclusive interview.

Siebenberg credits her husband Theo with the drive to initiate the not-so-simple years of digging under their modern four-story house that eventually led to the archaeological discoveries

“When we moved into our finished home in 1970, Theo had a feeling that there was much more to this place,” said Siebenberg.

At that time, archaeological discoveries by Hebrew University archaeologists in the Jewish Quarter including the area around the Siebenberg’s home were making headlines. The Siebenbergs believed that perhaps there were artifacts buried under their home as well so Theo applied to the Department of Antiquities for a permit to excavate beneath their house.

“We invested our own money, brought in engineers, architects, archaeologists expert diggers, and donkeys to remove the rubble, digging up to 60 feet down to discover all this,” Siebenberg explains.

During more than 18 years of unearthing, the Siebenbergs discovered a ritual bath, known as a mikveh used by Jews during the Second Temple era, an aqueduct, a Byzantine water cistern, and even empty burial chambers believed to have been used by Jewish royalty in the 10th century B.C. during King Solomon’s reign.

Eventually, the remnants of the base wall of what is believed to be a Jewish home that stood 2,000 years ago, were also uncovered as were ancient Hasmonean stones, including one with a menorah engraving. Evidence of the Roman destruction of the Second Temple in 70 C.E. was also discovered –a line of ash sealed into sedimentary rock was sent to a special lab in South Africa for testing, which found that the ashes were indeed from that time. In the 1980s, the story behind the Siebenberg’s basement, which Theo had transformed into a museum for the public in 1985, received much international attention. National Geographic, the New York Times, BBC, ABC, NBC, and many other international media sources devoted coverage to the history being uncovered under the Siebenberg House.

“We had groups from all around the world visiting our archaeological museum including European parliamentarians, US Congressmen, foreign press and other leading figures,” Siebenberg told Tazpit News Agency.

In addition to the fascinating story of the Siebenberg House, the couple behind the digging has their own unique tale. Theo, named after Theodore Herzl, came from a wealthy diamond family in Antwerp that barely escaped Belgium following the Nazi takeover. While not religious, Theo grew up in a traditional Jewish family with a strong love for Israel. Siebenberg eventually emigrated to the Jewish state in 1966 after a series of successful international investments and married Miriam, who was born and raised in Tel Aviv.

“Theo always felt homeless, having been uprooted from his Antwerp home at the age of 16 by the Nazis,” says Miriam. “But he always knew he wanted to live in Jerusalem and as close as possible to where the Temple once stood – the most important place in Jewish history. This was the only place he considered home in his lifetime.”

Today, Miriam, continues to carry the legacy of the Siebenberg House. This past June, Miriam, with the help of her assistant, 27-year-old Adi Rabinowitz-Bedein, reopened the museum to the general public, providing tours of the home’s unique history while showcasing the archaeological finds. “This is our life’s work,”comments Miriam.

“My friends in Tel Aviv don’t understand why we live in Jerusalem,” says Miriam who describes herself as secular. “But I know my roots are here – both my roots and the roots of our people are right underneath this house.”

“I live the ancient past of the Jewish nation,” says Miriam. “And I want to share this history and experience with as many people as possible.”

To visit the Siebenberg House museum, call to make a reservation for a guided tour: 02-628-2341 or 0547267754. The museum is also available for cultural events and special occasions.

About the Author: Anav Silverman is a regular contributor to Tazpit News Agency.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

2 Responses to “Jerusalem Home Harbors Buried Second Temple Artifacts”

  1. Joel Schnur says:

    it is a fantastic tour to take. a must for those with a feel for yerushalayim!

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Jan Morgan, owner of the Gun Cave Indoor Shooting Range.
Arkansas Shooting Range Declares Itself Muslim-Free Zone’
Latest News Stories
Jan Morgan, owner of the Gun Cave Indoor Shooting Range.

“How then, can anyone say that, the practice of Islam is protected by the U.S. Constitution?”

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat puts cement on the official cornerstone celebrating the reopening of the Tiferet Israel Synagogue in Jerusalem's Old City.

Why doesn’t Obama also label Jerusalem Arabs as “illegitimate settlers?”

Rivlin at Slichot

Israel’s President Ruby Rivlin recites Slichot, the prayers for forgiveness that are said leading up to Yom Kippur. This slichot prayer session was held at the President’s official residence. Speaking of presidential pardons, it would be good if this were the year that Jonathan Pollard was let free.

American university campuses have become fertile ground for seeds of evil.

Letter of protest charges SJP with “harassing and intimidating Jewish students.”

Biden’s new national security adviser dissed Israel in the Democratic party platform and mocks Iran’s danger.

PA leader Abbas demands UN force Israel back to 1949 Armistice Line by Nov. 2016.

Car fires are car fires,” said the Atlantic City fire chief. But the car was parked!

US admits its ‘no-strike if any civilians might be hit’ policy does not apply to its airstrikes against ISIS.

Israeli police revealed on September 30 that they are now investigating the possibility that a fellow Arab worker may have cut the cable that held Arami as he was doing exterior work on a building.

A 14-year-old Dutch Muslim high school student is suspended after posting a video saying he is “from ISIS” and wants to “behead Jews.”

PM Netanyahu and US Pres. Obama met Wednesday evening for 75 minutes at the White House in Washington DC.

Israel talks with building blocks. The Palestinian Authority throws them.

The Palestinian Authority continues to remove its mask and show it is Hamas in sheep’s clothing.

How do some of the other issues Obama discussed in his 2013 U.N. General Assembly speech look through today’s lens?

More Articles from Anav Silverman, Tazpit News Agency
Netanel Roi Arami

Israeli police revealed on September 30 that they are now investigating the possibility that a fellow Arab worker may have cut the cable that held Arami as he was doing exterior work on a building.

Immigration to Israel this year was up 28% compared to the previous year. An estimated total of 24,800 new immigrants arrived to Israel throughout the course of the year.

“In the Middle East today, there is one country where Christianity is not only not persecuted, but affectionately granted freedom of expression, freedom of worship and security. It is Israel, the Jewish State. “

An airlift of 21 flights from El- Al Airlines flying from 10 different international locations, are bringing parents of lone soldiers serving in the IDF to Israel.

The world’s oldest known Jewish prayer book, or siddur, was displayed for the first time to the general public at the Bible Lands Museum.

A memorial event with a special photo exhibition honoring the late Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon took place on Monday.

China’s Yuanda Enterprise Group announced last week that it had bought the Israeli company AutoAgronome Israel Ltd for $20 million in order to expand its business to high-tech agriculture.

Jerusalem district firefighters and rescue volunteers, alongside U.S. Marines and families of 9/11 victims, marked the 13th anniversary 9/11 in a special ceremony held in the Jerusalem Hills.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/jerusalem-home-harbors-buried-second-temple-artifacts/2013/06/26/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: