Bible and Archaeology News
New explorations of the famous Twins Cave in the Judean hills west of Jerusalem have discovered evidence of ancient pagan rituals that may suggest the cave was once thought to be a portal to the underworld. Archaeologists from Bar-Ilan University located 42 clay lamps from the late Roman period in a largely inaccessible, 70-foot-long vertical shaft deep inside the cave’s interior. Based on the fact that the lamps show little evidence of having been burned or used, the researchers believe the cave may have been the site of pagan rituals intended to guide the journey of the Greek goddess Demeter into the underworld to search for her daughter Persephone. Similar lamps were used in celebrations dedicated to Demeter in ancient Greece, while in Israel depictions of such celebrations have been preserved at major Roman sites like Acre, Beth-Shean, Nablus and Caesarea.
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