Grotto of Roman-Era found in Jericho
Friday, June 26, 2009
The largest cave ever discovered in Israel is close to the city of Jericho found and is filled with Christian symbols.
This is an Israeli archaeologist announced. The huge cave, spans more than 1 acre and is 10 meters below the desert and was buried about 2,000 years ago excavated, said archaeologist Professor. Adam Zertal of Haifa University.
"The location, 4 km north of the old city of Jericho was a large quarry in the Roman period and probably as a monastery and shelter for hundreds of years," he said.
The main room of the cave is supported by 22 pillars, which crosses 31, an eight-zodiac symbol, Roman numerals and the pennant of a Roman legion are engraved suggesting that the Roman Army was used.
The location was discovered three months ago as part of a thirty years old university archaeological research to the field mapping.
"We saw a hole, not big and wanted to go inside," says Zertal.
His team was not frightened by the warnings of two Bedouin passers that archaeologists encouraged not to enter the hole as the "adverse signs (removed), witchcraft and animal bones.
The site was littered with animal bones, he says. "We saw a real underground palace that we never thought to find".
"There are not yet carried out excavations in the area" says Zertal, and stressed that the Israeli Antiquities authorities no archaeological excavations in the West Bank run.
He says that in the future the site a "fantastic" tourist location it would be.