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Beer Sheba, another site with the ruins of an ancient civilization. They all start to look the same. You can start to pick out what the shelters were used for by the shape of the footprint. The large rectangular shaped buildings were usually used for food or grain storage.
Then there is the unseen areas. Many cities in this arid region made use of underground cisterns. They are basically large caverns dug out underground. We had gotten up close with some of these at other sites, but at Beit Guvrin, we got the chance to dig.
This site in particular contains some massive underground cistern-looking areas. Going down in the excavated ones is quite extraordinary. There are cut outs in the walls for candles or lamps that would have lit the areas. The ones we went down in are believed to have, at some point, housed birds of some sort for the inhabitants of the town. As they sit now, they are filled with the garbage of an ancient civilization.
That’s where we come in. We went to work sifting through ages old trash to look for anything that could tell us about the people – their diet, sophistication and wealth, etc.
Once we got done sifting what we had found in the more open, excavated areas, we got the chance to go Indiana Jones style on some of the still filled in areas. We took a smaller camera because it was so tight in some of those areas. So I need to dig up those pictures.