Volume 3, Issue 1 (2022)

Special Issue: Natural Caves and Underground Artificial Features

Guest editor: Yinon Shivtiel

Shivtiel, Y., 2022. Editorial. pp. 1-2 , 3 (1) , pp. 1-2.
Farhi, Y., 2022. A Ring from a Cave in ‘En Gedi and the Conflict Between Herod the Great and Mattathias Antigonus (40–37 BCE). pp. 3-13 , pp. 3-13.Abstract
This paper presents a rare bronze finger ring that was found more than half a century ago and bears a symbol known mainly from the coins of  Mattathias Antigonus. A teenager recovered it from one of the burial caves in the cliff of Naḥal David at ‘En Gedi. Although the cave was later excavated by Nahman Avigad, the ring was forgotten and was not incorporated in the excavation report. This paper discusses the ring, the symbol it bears, and its relation to the coins of Antigonus. I suggest a date and identification for the burials in the cave that associates them with the conflict between Herod and Antigonus.
Klein, E., et al., 2022. “They Shall Come into the Hollows of the Earth” (Isa 2:19): Bar Kokhba-Period Hiding Complexes at Biblical Tels—Tel Lavnin as a Case Study. pp. 14-44 , 3 (1) , pp. 14-44.Abstract
Hiding complexes in Judea have been objects of considerable scholarly interest since the 1970s. By now, we are well acquainted with their main features and spatial distribution. Most hiding complexes in the Judean foothills were cut beneath the houses in Jewish villages. They were entered via shafts carved out of the nari rock, leading to underground passages quarried in the soft chalk beneath. Following recent intensive looting at Tel Lavnin, a site located in ‘Adullam Park, south of the Ela Valley, inspectors of the Antiquities Theft Prevention Unit of the Israel Antiquities Authority documented three hiding complexes. In this paper, we present these hiding complexes and the objects discovered in them. We discuss these complexes’ special architectural features and ponder why particular architectural methods were chosen. We then compare the complexes of Tel Lavnin to complexes documented elsewhere in Judea. We propose that they constitute an architectural subtype of hiding complexes from the Bar Kokhba Revolt and predict that others like them will be discovered in the future.
Shivtiel, A., 2022. Caves in the Old Testament, the New Testament, and the Qur’an. pp. 45-50 , 3 (1) , pp. 45-50.Abstract
This article deals with the caves mentioned in the Old Testament, the New Testament, and the Qur’an. It highlights all the relevant occurrences of the Hebrew, Arabic, and Greek words for cave, discusses its etymologies, and provides brief details about the contexts in which it is mentioned.
Kohn-Tavor, A., 2022. An Early Bronze Age I Tomb, a Dwelling Cave, and a Quarry at the Mount of Olives, Jerusalem. pp. 51-69 , 3 (1) , pp. 51-69.Abstract
A small salvage excavation was conducted in 2007 at the Mount of Offence (part of the Mount of Olives, Ras el-‘Amud neighborhood), overlooking Jerusalem’s old city. The excavation revealed finds of three periods: the EB Ib, late Iron Age IIc, the Early Roman, and the Byzantine periods. The EB Ib remains included a burial cave, which was only partly excavated. The remains provide important information about the inhabitants of early Jerusalem. Later, in the Late Iron Age IIc, part of the cave was cleared and used for temporary habitation, perhaps in anticipation of the impending Babylonian siege. Lastly, in the Early Roman and Byzantine periods, the mountainside was made into a quarry, unaware of the early cave. These three chronological episodes offer us a glimpse into some of the activities on the outskirts of ancient Jerusalem.
Yamaç, A., 2022. Some Interesting Underground Cities and Peculiar Underground Structures of Kayseri (Turkey). pp. 70-107 , 3 (1) , pp. 70-107.Abstract
Cappadocia, like many other parts of the world, is loaded with underground defense structures. The volcanic tuff, characteristic of the region, is easy to carve through and covers hundreds of square kilometers, thus providing favorable conditions for numerous underground defense structures. Consequently, almost every village in Cappadocia boasts at least one or more rock-cut structures. Although some are small and stand-alone structures, others constitute large and elaborate underground cities, including hundreds of meters-long tunnels and countless rooms. For more than seven years now, the OBRUK Cave Research Group has carried out the Underground Structures Inventory Project in Kayseri province. To date, 33 underground cities have been systematically explored and surveyed. This article begins with an introductory overview of the historical background and research of underground cities in Cappadocia and continues with an account of some of the most telling examples of these structures.