Researchers from Israel Antiquities Authority, the Safed Academic College, and the Israel Cave Explorers Club embarked on an intricate excavation mission to the cave on a cliff face near the Lebanon border. And their daring efforts paid off.  Inside the cave, they found large wine jugs, a cooking pot, and other pottery vessels completely intact.

Dr. Danny Syon of the Israel Antiquities Authority said: “As a first impression, the finds seem to date back to the Hellenistic period – between the 3rd and 1st centuries BCE. Considering that cooking and serving vessels were found, it would appear that those who brought them planned to live there for a while.”

The group began their survey of the western Galilee in 2017 under the leadership of Dr. Yinon Shivtiel, a speleologist (cave specialist) and senior lecturer in Land of Israel Studies at the Safed Academic College. A fully intact 2,300-year-old pottery and wine amphorae is a rare find. Because the cave was not far from the Lebanon border, the operation was coordinated with the IDF.

Dr. Syon believes that the 2,300-year-old wine jugs were almost certainly hidden during a frantic attempt at an escape, and believes that with more accurate dating archaeologist may even be able to determine what its owners were running from after analyzing violent events that may have taken place in the region during the time these individuals would have lived there.

“We assume that whoever hid here escaped some violent event that occurred in the area. Perhaps by dating the vessels more closely, we shall be able to tie them to a known historical event. It is mind-boggling how the vessels were carried to the cave, which is extremely difficult to access. Maybe an easier way that once existed disappeared over time.”, remarked Dr. Syon

With further research, archaeologists should have a better picture of life in this Israeli cave when the 2,300-year-old cooking artifacts and wine jugs would have been used.

Original Sources: Jerusalem Post and