MembersA Daring Salvage Mission

A number of well-preserved large wine carafes and other ceramic vessels dating back over 2,000 years were recently discovered and salvaged from a remote cave in the western Galilee not far from the border with Lebanon.

By Michael Selutin |
Photo: IAA

It was a daring mission, to say the least.

The Israeli speleologist Dr. Yinon Shivtiel from Tzfat Academic College discovered the cave in 2017. It is located in the middle of the wilderness in a nature reserve. The entrance is located some 30 meters (nearly 100 feet) below a dangerous cliff. Only by means of a little extreme rope climbing could it be reached. The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), the Speleological Research Center and volunteers from the Speleologists Club collaborated to bring the impressive find home. According to the participants, it was the most extensive archaeological salvage in 20 years.

Dr. Danny Syon of the IAA dates the vessels to the Hellenistic era. Presumably, they were brought there from locals trying to escape the violent conflicts of that time. Still, the researchers were at a loss to figure out how they reached the inaccessible cave entrance. Perhaps there was a more accessible path that has since crumbled away.

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