Ancient ‘portal to the underworld’ is discovered in a cave in Israel
Archaeologists discovered that the Te’omim Cave in Israel was regarded as a ‘portal to the underworld’ by a Roman-era cult. The artifacts found in the cave, including oil lamps, axes, and human skulls, were arranged for ‘necromancy’ rituals, attempting to summon the dead. Caves were chosen for such rituals as they were believed to provide access to the underground or ‘underworld’. In another discovery, 11,000-year-old human remains were found in a Cumbrian cave, indicating a man who returned to Britain after the last Ice Age.
The study, authored by Eitan Klein and Boaz Zissu, reveals that the Te’omim Cave, also known as Twins Cave, in the Jerusalem hills, may have served as a ‘portal to the underworld.’ It has unique elements suitable for divination rites. The cave was first excavated in 1873, but extensive study by archaeologists from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem occurred in the late 2000s.
Over 120 intact oil lamps, along with weapons, vessels, coins, and human skulls, were found in the Te’omim Cave during survey efforts from 2010 to 2016. The artifacts, dated to around 2,000 years ago in the Roman era, were deliberately placed in crevices for possible necromancy ceremonies.
The Te’omim Cave has a widened natural entrance, and descending into a spacious chamber, archaeologists found various passages and fissures rich in archaeological finds. Three human craniums were discovered in hard-to-reach crevices, accompanied by oil lamps deliberately placed in narrow, deep crevices, suggesting possible necromancy ceremonies and communication with the dead. Metal axes were also placed in the cave to protect it from evil spirits. The cave is considered an example of a nekyomanteion or ‘oracle of the dead,’ where secret rites involving necromancy were believed to take place.
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