In “A World Below: The Caves of Maresha” in the September/October 2013 issue of BAR, Ian Stern explores the metropolis of caves underneath the Hellenistic town of Maresha. This subterranean world served many of the city’s everyday needs—columbaria for raising doves, cisterns for water, baths perhaps for ritual immersion, animal stables, domestic textile factories and just plain storage. This elaborate manmade underworld supported a multi-ethnic community of Nabateans, Edomites, Phoenicians and Judeans.
These archaeologically rich but unstratified underground chambers provide the perfect setting for untrained archaeologists to uncover the history of a Biblical-era site. Learn about the site’s Dig-for-a-Day program and the fragments of the Heliodorus Stela discovered there in three BAR articles now available to the public for free:
Suzanne F. Singer. “The Dig-for-a-Day Experience.” Biblical Archaeology Review, May/June 2010.
Hershel Shanks. “Inscription Reveals Roots of Maccabean Revolt.” Biblical Archaeology Review, Nov/Dec 2008.
Dorothy Resig. “Volunteers Find Missing Pieces to Looted Inscription.” Biblical Archaeology Review, May/Jun 2010.
BAS Library Members: Read Ian Stern, “A World Below: The Caves of Maresha.”
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