Mikve (ritual bath) in Hirbat Hallel
Archaeological evidence of Jewish settlement dating from the end of the Second Temple Period has been found here. Significant Jewish relics include the remarkable mikve that was unearthed during excavations. On the stairs leading down to the mikve are the remains of the mehitza (partition) intended to separate those entering the mikve from those emerging from it. This was necessary during times when many people were going to the mikve, in order to prevent any contact with those who had already immersed themselves and were therefore in a state of purity.
The excavations revealed strata of fire and destruction, attesting to the fact that the ancient settlement was destroyed during the Bar Kochba revolt. The large wine-press indicates that the settlement existed in Byzantine times.
The site was excavated in 1990 by the Antiquities Authority, assisted by the Kfar Etzion Field School, prior to paving the access road to Bat Ayin.