Garo Nalbandian

RENEWABLE RESOURCE. By the third century B.C.E., Maresha extended well beyond the small, 6-acre mound of the Iron Age town referenced in the Book of Joshua (15:44) to include an expansive, 80-acre lower city that surrounded the existing mound. The new city was organized into regular city blocks, or insulae, separated by narrow streets and alleys built with rectangular blocks of chalk quarried from the caves beneath. As buildings fell into disrepair, the chalk excavated from the ever-expanding cave complexes supplied a ready source of fresh building material.