Garo Nalbandian

ANCIENT UNDERWORLD. Beneath Hellenistic Maresha are thousands of manmade caves hewn from the soft chalk that underlies the hard limestone bedrock of the Judean foothills. The caves were quarried into spacious underground complexes, some supported by vaulted ceilings and massive unexcavated pillars (pictured here), that accommodated the everyday building, industrial and even ritual needs of a thriving, multi-ethnic community dominated by the Idumeans, the descendants of the Biblical Edomites, but including Judeans and others as well.