Har Safsuf Cave
In collaboration with Uri Davidovich1 and Ofer Marder2
1the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 2Ben-Gurion University
Har Safsuf Cave is a newly discovered karstic cave, located on the eastern slope of Mt. Safsuf in the upper Galilee. The cave was surveyed by Uri Davidovich, Ido Wechtel, and Micka Ullman, with the help of the Caves Research Center. The cave is a large underground set of chambers located at various levels and connected by narrow passages and shafts. Passage through the different cave parts requires the use of rappelling and climbing gear.
The fossils consisted of two skeletons, which seemed to be in primary contexts. Other singular human remains were retrieved from many other areas of the cave. One of the skeletons (Safsuf 1) was collected during the initial survey, a second skeleton (Safsuf 2) was left in-situ, and a third skeleton (Safsuf 3), which was partially visible, was also left in place.
Safsuf Cave is a very important archaeological site, displaying a phenomenon that is thus far not known in this geographical region. The cave was used both for habitation and for burial in the early Chalcolithic period. The nature of the habitat, the identity of the inhabitants, and the nature of the burials are all topics that warrant further exploration.
General view of the niche with the skeleton before the excavation