Prehistoric cave uncovered in Western Galilee
A stalactite cave containing prehistoric remains was exposed in the Western Galilee. Among the artifacts found are flint implements and the bones of animals that have long since become extinct from the country's landscape
(Communicated by the Israel Antiquities Authority Spokesman )
While carrying out development work connected with the construction of a sewage line in a forest of the Jewish National Fund, a large stalactite cave was accidentally breached inside of which an abundance of prehistoric artifacts were discovered.
Immediately upon exposing the cave personnel were summoned there from the Israel Antiquities Authority, the Center for Cave Exploration and the Western Galilee Rescue Unit.
According to Dr. Ofer Marder, head of the Prehistory Branch of the Israel Antiquities Authority who examined the cave, "It seems that during the past 40-50 years no cave has been found with such a wealth of prehistoric finds and certainly not inside such a lovely stalactite cave. The cave includes a number of chambers, of which the main chamber measures c. 60 x 80 meters. Inside it is a soil accumulation that contains numerous flint tools that were knapped by man and a variety of zoological remains of animals that are no longer present in our country's landscape such as the red deer, fallow deer, buffalo and even the remains of bears".
The cave is being researched by the Israel Antiquities Authority, in cooperation with the Jewish National Fund and the Center for Cave Exploration. The initial impression of those who first examined the cave is that it seems to date to the Upper Paleolithic period (40,000-20,000 YBP); however, it is possible that the cave was also used in earlier periods and a final determination with regards to this can only be made following a thorough study of it.
At this point, the cave is sealed and access to it is not possible. The Israel Antiquities Authority is inspecting the special finds that were discovered there and at a later stage a study will be required to examine the animal population, climate and geology of the region during the periods when the cave was being used. The cave will also be dated by means of advanced scientific methods that will provide researchers with an absolute chronological range