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Hungarian archaeologists have discovered a large mikveh (Jewish ritual bath) during excavations in the ruins of Machaerus, the fortress of King Herod in modern-day Jordan. The mikveh had 12 steps and a reserve pool of water from which to fill the main pool when its water ran low. It was located 9 ft below the courtyard, and was at one time covered by a vaulted stone roof. It was likely used for ritual purification by Herod and his family while they were at Machaerus. According to Josephus, John the Baptist was beheaded at Machaerus. The death of John the Baptist is recorded in both Matthew's and Mark's Gospels.

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