Perhaps Caiaphas Lived Under Today’s Jewish Quarter?
After the Six-Day War, in 1967, intensive excavations were carried out in Jewish Quarter, before rebuilding and repopulating it. Among other things, the archaeologists uncovered the remains of a luxurious house in the area called The Herodian Quarter. Covering 6,500 sq. feet, it wass designed like a Roman villa, with its rooms set around a central courtyard. Some of its walls and floors were lavishly decorated with colorful frescoes and mosaics. Imported clay and glass kitchenware also attest to the unusual wealth of the residents of this house. 3 inkwells also suggested the family had a significant administrative role. The archaeologist labeled this property as a “palatial mansion”.
The many ritual baths set in the basements of this big property, the purity stone vessels, the lack of figurative art in any of its decoration, and the evidence of the extreme wealth of its inhabitants, led some of the archaeologists to suggest this property was owned by one of the high priests of the first century CE. Furthermore, in two archaeological sites just next to this mansion, two stone weights were uncovered, inscribed in Aramaic, “..Kathros”. Kathros was a known wealthy family of priests. One of them was the brother of Caiaphas. If so, it is quite possible that the two related priestly families resided close to one another. The most intriguing discovery in the palatial mansion is a room resembling a reception hall in its western wing. It is exceptionally big and decorated with molded clay (stucco) on its walls and even its ceiling. Perhaps Caiaphas, the high priest, summoned the Sanhedrin in this location to interrogate Jesus? While having no proof of this, it does remain a fascinating possibility.