Archaeologists have recently made the surprising discovery of a cooking pot, wine amphorae, and other pieces of pottery inside a cave in Israel that closely borders Lebanon and were astonished to learn that these fully intact artifacts date back to around 2,300 years ago.
As The Jerusalem Post report, back in 2017 archaeologists were busy scouring Western Galilee in search of caves that may have once been used as shelters. With the search continuing today, last week a cave was found sitting atop a giant cliff, and inside this cave were found wine jars, two juglets, a bowl, a cooking pot and numerous jars for storage.
Dr. Yinon Shivtiel at Zefat Academic College remarked that archaeologists never expected to run across the cave they did, given its close proximity to such an enormous cliff, according to Sci News.
“In 2017, we conducted a survey in Western Galilee to locate caves that served as shelters and hiding places. In the course of the survey we were surprised to discover a cave high on a sheer cliff, under an overhang, which contained ancient pottery vessels.”
Dr. Danny Syon, who works with the Israel Antiquities Authority, announced that he believes the cooking artifacts belong to the Hellenistic period of time and that its owners would most likely have chosen to make the cave a permanent base for their unit.
“As a first impression, the finds seem to date to the Hellenistic period — between the 3rd and 1st centuries BC. Considering that cooking and serving vessels were found, it would appear that those who brought them planned to live there for a while.”
Dr. Syon believes that the 2,300-year-old pottery was 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 historic event.”
With regard to how the large pieces of pottery were taken to the location, especially the wine amphorae, Syon has speculated that thousands of years ago the route to the cave may have looked quite different than it does today.
“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.”
With further research, archaeologists should have a better picture of life in this Israeli cave when the 2,300-year-old cooking artifacts and pottery would have been used.