B. Frenkel/Courtesy of Gabriel Barkay

Dig volunteers lie in an Iron Age tomb. Although they may sometimes have felt as if they were being worked to death, these volunteers revealed one of the most remarkable and long-lived tomb complexes ever discovered in the Holy City. Originally hewn from bedrock in the seventh century B.C.E., the Ketef Hinnom caves remained in use for nearly 2,500 years, serving a variety of functions and peoples, from Roman legionaries to the Ottoman-Turkish army. In this special report, Jerusalem archaeologist Gabriel Barkay, who directed the excavations between 1975 and 1996, takes BAR readers on a guided tour of the caves and the diverse array of artifacts found inside, including the oldest Biblical text ever discovered.