Caves of Maresha and Beit-Guvrin
Caves of Maresha and Beit-Guvrin information
The Beit Guvrin Caves and Tel Maresha is an archaeological site, natural wonder and feat of human ingenuity all rolled into one. Around this sweltering national park are some 4000 hollows and chambers that create a Swiss-cheese landscape. Some of the caves are natural, the result of water eroding the soft limestone surface. Others, however, are thought to be the result of quarrying by the Phoenicians, builders of Ashkelon’s port between the 7th and 4th centuries BCE.
During the Byzantine period the caves were used by monks and hermits and some of the walls are still discernibly marked with crosses. St John the Baptist is said to have been one of the pious graffitists.