Radu Mendrea

Before excavation a cave said to be associated with John the Baptist was filled nearly to the ceiling with silt that archaeologists had to clear away before reaching the original sixth-century B.C. floor, carved some 16 feet below the ceiling. The platforms at left and in the back of the photo are unexcavated fill, left for future excavators. For the present, however, the claim that the cave was used by John the Baptist has been met with great skepticism.