Beit Guvrin / Maresha

Sidonian Burial Caves at Beit Guvrin/MareshaThe area in and around Beit Guvrin National Park is honeycombed with hundreds of underground caves. The soft rock in this area of the Judean Lowlands is covered by a thin hard crust. During the Hellenistic period, when Maresha was at its peak, residents exploited the natural geology of the region and cut caves out of the rock. The chalk quarried out of the caves was cut into building materials while the hollow space left behind was used for water cisterns, all sorts of industrial installations, warehouses and as burial caves.

Beit Guvrin / Maresha is a vast archaeological site. A highlight of some folks’ tour is to participate in an actual archaeological dig at the site. But whether or not you get “down into the trenches” yourselves, exploring the vast underground caves is fascinating.

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