Hershel Shanks

SHEDDING SOME LIGHT. Gibson uses a lamp to illuminate some of the cave’s few engravings. The engravings date from the Byzantine period (324-628 A.D.), when the debris bed on which Gibson stands was the cave floor. Gibson notes that the walls were otherwise unadorned and untouched even though the excellent plaster covering the walls, dating from the First Temple period, virtually begs for graffiti. Gibson concludes that the engravings must be purposeful—and important—as opposed to mere decoration. He believes these forms are Christian crosses.