CAVES IN ISRAEL NOW A WORLD HERITAGE SITE
MILLENNIA-OLD MAN-MADE cave tunnels located just outside Jerusalem have been declared a World Heritage site.
The caves of Beit Guvrin-Maresha — dubbed a city under a city — were used by Jewish rebels during a revolt against the Romans.
These intricate caves, excavated from a thick and homogenous layer of soft chalk in Lower Judea, are situated below the ancient twin towns of Maresha and Beit Guvrin located just off the Bet ShemeshKiryat Gat road
They have been used as quarries, burial sites, baths, storerooms and hideouts in troubled times for thousands of years from the Iron Age to the Crusades.
The complex underground cistern systems were used by the townsfolk of Maresha during the Hellensitic period.
This new UNESCO award was announced in Qatar last week by the World Heritage committee. It brings the total World Heritage sites in Israel to eight.
These include Masada, the Old City of Acre and the Bahai Holy Shrines in Haifa.