Caves of Maresha and Bet-Guvrin in the Judean Lowlands as a Microcosm of the Land of the Caves



CountryIsrael
UNESCO RegionEurope and North America
CoordinatesN31 36 0 E34 53 44
Inscription Date2014
Property (ha)259
Type of HeritageCultural
CriteriaTo be an outstanding example of a traditional human settlement; land-use; or sea-use which is representative of a culture (or cultures); or human interaction with the environment especially when it has become vulnerable under the impact of irreversible change
Unesco Reference Number1370
URLhttp://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1370
DescriptionThis“city under a city” is characterized by a selection of man-made caves, excavated from the thick and homogenous layer of soft chalk in Lower Judea. It includes chambers and networks with varied forms and functions, situated below the ancient twin towns of Maresha and Bet Guvrin, that bear witness to a succession of historical periods of excavation and usage stretching over 2,000 years, from the Iron Age to the Crusades, as well as a great variety of subterranean construction methods. The original excavations were quarries, but these were converted for various agricultural and local craft industry purposes, including oil presses, columbaria (dovecotes), stables, underground cisterns and channels, baths, tomb complexes and places of worship , and hiding places during troubled times.
StatusWorld Heritage Site