Sketch by Stephen Rosenberg, photo © Erich Lessing

ALL-PURPOSE CAVE. Piercing the limestone cliffs north of Qasr al-Abd are caves that, according to Josephus, were used by Hyrcanus for entertaining, as well as security. Two of the caves were carved with recessed doorways, beside which the family’s name (TOBYH) was written in late paleo-Hebrew script. Rosenberg believes the caves may have also been used to inter the family’s dead before the bones were finally deposited in sarcophagi resting inside the mausoleum.