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Hikers shocked to discover Second Temple era human bones inside West Bank cave

By Mason White 12:28 PM April 20, 2014
The human skull 

By: Aryeh Savir
A group of hikers were shocked to find human bones after they entered a cave in the West Bank, the Tazpit News Agency reported.

The surprised group of hikers in Gush Etzion stumbled across the human bones in the cave located near Ein Tzurim.

The hikers immediately called police, who came to investigate. However, the police officers who arrived at the scene, realized that this wasn’t a murder scene and called the Israel Antiquities Authority.

A preliminary examination indicated that the bones are apparently those of Jews from the Second Temple period. Davidi Perl, the mayor of the Gush Etzion Regional Council, discussed the discovery with the Tazpit News Agency.

“We’re talking about a very interesting discovery, and in retrospect, an incredibly important historical find that may add light on already existing evidence regarding Jewish life in this region, thousands of years ago,” Perl said.

“We should wait for an unequivocal statement on the findings. If it is determined that the findings demonstrate the presence of ancient Jewish presence in Gush Etzion, then this is an additionally significant and strong proof that we lived here in Gush Etzion, and are a link in the chain of generations of the people of Israel. In Gush Etzion is the Patriarch’s Path, the main road linking Hebron to Jerusalem and from there going up to Beit El and city of Shechem (Nablus),” Perl added.

It should be noted that the area of western Gush Etzion and Beit Guvrin, artifacts from the Second Temple period and the Bar Kokhba revolt have been repeatedly found, demonstrating the long term Jewish history and continuity in the region.