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Jerusalem - Israel's Ancient Caves, A Hidden Adventure

Published on: August 30, 2011 12:56 PM
By: More at  Reuters
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Researchers Boaz Langford (L) and Boaz Zissu kneel inside an ancient rebel hideout at Hurvat Burgin archaeological site, at the foothills of Jerusalem around the ancient city of Beit Guvrin August 30, 2011. You'll need a headlamp, a tight waistline and no fear of the dark in order to enjoy one of the most extreme, yet lesser known, archaeological wonders of the Holy Land - the ancient tunnel systems dug by Jewish rebels to fight the Roman empire. To match Reuters Life! ISRAEL-CAVES/  REUTERS/Baz RatnerResearchers Boaz Langford (L) and Boaz Zissu kneel inside an ancient rebel hideout at Hurvat Burgin archaeological site, at the foothills of Jerusalem around the ancient city of Beit Guvrin August 30, 2011. You'll need a headlamp, a tight waistline and no fear of the dark in order to enjoy one of the most extreme, yet lesser known, archaeological wonders of the Holy Land - the ancient tunnel systems dug by Jewish rebels to fight the Roman empire. To match Reuters Life! ISRAEL-CAVES/  REUTERS/Baz Ratner

Jerusalem - You’ll need a headlamp, a tight waistline and no fear of the dark in order to enjoy one of the most extreme, yet lesser known, archaeological wonders of the Holy Land.

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Still, even with the proper equipment and intestinal fortitude, it is easy to lose your cool when crawling through the expansive ancient tunnel systems dug by Jewish rebels to fight the Roman empire.

The hundreds of hideouts, ranging from just a few metres deep to seemingly unending labyrinths, are popular among Israeli archaeologists and adventurists. But the subterranean mazes, which date back as early as the first century BC, are virtually unknown to foreigners.

Even if you go looking for them, as designed, they are easy to miss.

The systems were often reached through trap doors in Jewish villages, some of which are now archaeological sites, others have been completely destroyed. Today, they may be no more than an indistinct, shoulder-width opening in the ground or hillside.

A tourist walks inside a columbarium at Hirbet Madras archaeological site, featuring ancient rebel hideouts, at the foothills of Jerusalem around the ancient city of Beit Guvrin August 23, 2011. You'll need a headlamp, a tight waistline and no fear of the dark in order to enjoy one of the most extreme, yet lesser known, archaeological wonders of the Holy Land - Ancient tunnel systems dug by Jewish rebels to fight the Roman empire. Picture taken August 23, 2011. To match Reuters Life! ISRAEL-CAVES/  REUTERS/Baz Ratner A tourist walks inside a columbarium at Hirbet Madras archaeological site, featuring ancient rebel hideouts, at the foothills of Jerusalem around the ancient city of Beit Guvrin August 23, 2011. You'll need a headlamp, a tight waistline and no fear of the dark in order to enjoy one of the most extreme, yet lesser known, archaeological wonders of the Holy Land - Ancient tunnel systems dug by Jewish rebels to fight the Roman empire. Picture taken August 23, 2011. To match Reuters Life! ISRAEL-CAVES/  REUTERS/Baz Ratner
Ofer Frumkin, the son of Amos Frumkin who heads Jerusalem's Hebrew University's Cave Research Unit, exits an ancient rebel hideout at Hurvat Burgin archaeological site, at the foothills of Jerusalem around the ancient city of Beit Guvrin August 30, 2011. You'll need a headlamp, a tight waistline and no fear of the dark in order to enjoy one of the most extreme, yet lesser known, archaeological wonders of the Holy Land - Ancient tunnel systems dug by Jewish rebels to fight the Roman empire. To match Reuters Life! ISRAEL-CAVES/  REUTERS/Baz Ratner Ofer Frumkin, the son of Amos Frumkin who heads Jerusalem's Hebrew University's Cave Research Unit, exits an ancient rebel hideout at Hurvat Burgin archaeological site, at the foothills of Jerusalem around the ancient city of Beit Guvrin August 30, 2011. You'll need a headlamp, a tight waistline and no fear of the dark in order to enjoy one of the most extreme, yet lesser known, archaeological wonders of the Holy Land - Ancient tunnel systems dug by Jewish rebels to fight the Roman empire. To match Reuters Life! ISRAEL-CAVES/  REUTERS/Baz Ratner
Researcher Boaz Langford stands inside an ancient rebel hideout at Hurvat Burgin archaeological site, at the foothills of Jerusalem around the ancient city of Beit Guvrin August 30, 2011. You'll need a headlamp, a tight waistline and no fear of the dark in order to enjoy one of the most extreme, yet lesser known, archaeological wonders of the Holy Land - Ancient tunnel systems dug by Jewish rebels to fight the Roman empire. To match Reuters Life! ISRAEL-CAVES/  REUTERS/Baz RatnerResearcher Boaz Langford stands inside an ancient rebel hideout at Hurvat Burgin archaeological site, at the foothills of Jerusalem around the ancient city of Beit Guvrin August 30, 2011. You'll need a headlamp, a tight waistline and no fear of the dark in order to enjoy one of the most extreme, yet lesser known, archaeological wonders of the Holy Land - Ancient tunnel systems dug by Jewish rebels to fight the Roman empire. To match Reuters Life! ISRAEL-CAVES/  REUTERS/Baz Ratner
Researchers Boaz Langford (R) and Boaz Zissu are seen inside an ancient rebel hideout at Hurvat Burgin archaeological site, at the foothills of Jerusalem around the ancient city of Beit Guvrin August 30, 2011. You'll need a headlamp, a tight waistline and no fear of the dark in order to enjoy one of the most extreme, yet lesser known, archaeological wonders of the Holy Land - Ancient tunnel systems dug by Jewish rebels to fight the Roman empire. To match Reuters Life! ISRAEL-CAVES/  REUTERS/Baz Ratner Researchers Boaz Langford (R) and Boaz Zissu are seen inside an ancient rebel hideout at Hurvat Burgin archaeological site, at the foothills of Jerusalem around the ancient city of Beit Guvrin August 30, 2011. You'll need a headlamp, a tight waistline and no fear of the dark in order to enjoy one of the most extreme, yet lesser known, archaeological wonders of the Holy Land - Ancient tunnel systems dug by Jewish rebels to fight the Roman empire. To match Reuters Life! ISRAEL-CAVES/  REUTERS/Baz Ratner

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 Aug 30, 2011 at 06:44 PM woofer Says:

Obviously the Hamas did not invent tunnels.

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