web analytics
March 6, 2015 / 15 Adar , 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
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses a joint meeting of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C., the United States, calling for rejection of a bad nuclear deal with Iran, on March 03, 2015.
Post-Bibi Bipartisanship May Result in Congressional Ability to Review Iran Deal
Latest News Stories
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses a joint meeting of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C., the United States, calling for rejection of a bad nuclear deal with Iran, on March 03, 2015.

Netanyahu’s speech, attacked as partisan, birthed a very significant bipartisan Congressional review agreement.

Esther Denouncing Haman

Rabbi Lau was surreptitiously talking about current events and not ancient texts on the news Friday morning…

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

Iran’s Zarif claims his country is the peaceful anchor in the region, while Israel is the evil danger.

The dollar was trading at 4.01 shekels shortly before noon Friday, the highest rate since 2012. The Bank of Israel reported Friday that it bought $1 billion worth of dollars last month in its currency war to make the shekel cheap and increase exports. The shekel-rate sneaked across the 4.00 level last week but quickly receded. […]

A large turnout of Bedouin and Arab voters may make the United Arab List the third largest Knesset party.

Five people were wounded, including two policewomen, near a light rail train station in eastern Jerusalem.

Purim is a national holiday and costume party in Israel, when there is a spirit of unity.

The decision could lead to the collapse of the Palestinian Authority.

A plane crash and snow storm all but paralyzed LaGuardia International Airport in New York on Thursday; one runway opened the airport by evening.

Actor Harrison Ford is in fair condition after crash-landing a private plane on a golf course in Venice, CA, Thursday afternoon.

An abandoned Jewish soldier who died for Ukraine was rescued and given a proper Jewish burial by ZAKA. Their story.

The race for nuclear power has begun in the Middle East in response to fears of an Iranian nuclear threat.

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a Megillah reading, which tells the story of the Jewish festival of Purim, inside the Great Synagogue in Jerusalem on March 05, 2015. The festival of Purim commemorates the rescue of Jews from genocide in ancient Persia.

A hitchhiker pulled out a gun and stopped the attack.

Israel was the sixth-highest source for tourists to Germany in 2014.

Eshed said that a smart meter can run for as long as 10 years if it is equipped with this chipset.

More Articles from Anav Silverman, Tazpit News Agency
Marble relief of Moses by artist Jean de Marco in U.S House of Representatives Chamber at the U.S. Capitol building.

It was probably the first time that the marble relief portrait of Moses hanging in the House Chamber ever received such public acknowledgement.

Israel Nature and Parks Authority Director-General Saul Goldstein at the inauguration of the new Israel Bike Trail's southern segment this week.

The unique desert landscape that covers large parts of Israel allow for its positioning as a leading destination for cyclists, with a comfortable climate year-round and spectacular desert scenery.

Hamas security forces stopped PA Arab writer, Atef Abu Saif, from attending a book fair in Morocco recently where the noted writer and the fiction award finalist had been nominated for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction.

“I have come here to offer comfort in the midst of your terrible grief,” the president told the family. “Adele touched all of our hearts, and indeed became a symbol.”

“Regretfully our president is the Neville Chamberlain of our day – he doesn’t know how to handle evil,” commented Pittenger, “Netanyahu is Winston Churchill – and the American public deserves to hear his point of view as the prime minister of the country that sits in the heart of it all.”

“Deliveries in ambulances always place us under even greater stress until we hear the first cry of the baby,” said paramedic Aluma Simon….

The Pacific Island nation known as the Marshall Islands will soon have its first water purification vehicle – thanks to the Israel.

“It’s a hard time to be a Danish Jew whether you’re in Denmark or living outside the country,” said Shimon following the deadly attacks in Copenhagen…

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: