web analytics
April 27, 2015 / 8 Iyar, 5775
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post


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.

Current Top Story
Fighters from the Al Qaeda-linked radical Islamist Al-Nusra rebel group in Syria.
Sources: Al Qaeda Bombed Hezbollah and Framed Israel
Latest News Stories
Mt. Everest climbers at the moment the earthquake hit.

Israel leads rescue efforts. Death toll will rise. Thousands are homeless. Below: Dramatic as-it-happened video.

Fighters from the Al Qaeda-linked radical Islamist Al-Nusra rebel group in Syria.

No matter who was behind the attack, Hezbollah knows it has more than one enemy.

Meretz's two "dangers" to Israeli education - The Book of Joshua and Naftali Bennett.

The left-wing party’s problem is that the ministry spent more money to promote Judaism than democracy.

IAF F-16B Fighter Jet

Arab sources report the IAF destroyed a missile site and killed Syrian soldiers.

The 4 terrorists were trying to plant a bomb in Israel on the Golan Heights.

The first group of rescued Israelis from Nepal are to arrive home on an IAF airlift in the wee hours of Monday with 3 premature babies.

Chabad co-emissary Chani Lifshiftz says “hundreds of Israelis” arrive safely at the Chabad House after deadly quake in Nepal.

British MP Ed Miliband has again been targeted, this time in a political campaign for being “the Jew.”

An Arab tried to steal the weapon from a civilian guard in the town of Eli.

GOP Senator Ted Cruz met with Republican Jewish leaders in Las Vegas Saturday on the campaign trail.

The idea behind Peres & Associates came to life two years or so before the end of President Shimon Peres’ term in office, when his team began planning the next phase in his career.

United Hatzalah, Zaka and First are among the first emergency responders from Israel to arrive in Nepal on Sunday as part of an international effort.

The PA and leftists lost twice in US courts, which threw out suits for libel and a claim against settlers’ “terrorist attacks.”

Lauder: ‘Jews demanded no ‘Right of Return’ to Germany or Austria or Poland or any other European country.’

Several Israelis suffered light injuries but 150 still have made no contact with officials.

More Articles from Anav Silverman, Tazpit News Agency
Armenian Archbishop Sevan (R) sits next to Greek Bishop Atallah, as they watch a live screening from Echmiadzin, Armenia, of the Church canonization of the genocide victims as saints, in the Armenian Quarter of Jerusalem's Old City.

In Jerusalem, the bells from 18 churches in the Old City of Jerusalem rang 100 times on Thursday evening, April 23, to remember the Armenian Genocide.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sitting with Chief Sephardi Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef and Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau at PM Netanyahu's office in Jerusalem, during a ceremony to sell the chametz of the state of Israel to Arab Israelis before the upcoming Passover holiday.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu participated in the ceremony to sell the State of Israel’s chametz to Abu Ghosh resident Hussein Jabar.

The Knesset opening session was buzzing with new faces, as 39 new Members of Knesset joined their veteran colleagues in the swearing in ceremony.

Israel’s Government Building Becomes ‘Greenest Parliament’ in the World

With one week to go before Passover, 110 new Ukrainian immigrants landed in Israel on Tuesday morning, March 24. The majority of newcomers are refugees who fled the fighting zones in the eastern part of the Ukraine including the husband of a woman killed by a direct rock hit that slammed into their house in […]

While the antisemites celebrate “Israel Apartheid Week”, a local survey found that 65% of Israeli-Arabs are proud to be Israeli.

The employees of Israel’s Knesset are also completing preparations as they bid farewell to those Knesset Members leaving and welcome new members to Israel’s parliament building.

Wein’s artwork depicting his journey to recovery recently won first place in a unique art competition.

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: