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Israeli Cave Was Seen as Porthole to Roman Underworld, Researchers Say


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#1 Kay

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 05:29 AM

Published 00:54 10.04.12
Latest update 00:54 10.04.12

Israeli Cave Was Seen as Porthole to Roman Underworld, Researchers Say

Researchers say Twins Cave may have been site of pagan ritual that lighted the way to Hades' realm.

By Ran Shapira

"We often hear about how Jerusalem is holy to followers of the three major monotheistic religions. But what is less well-known is that the surrounding Judean hills were home to pagan ritual sites involving Greco-Roman gods. One such site, linked to the harvest goddess Demeter, has been identified at the Twins Cave, according to a study released by the Yad Ben-Zvi historical research institute last week.

In Greek mythology, Demeter's daughter, Persephone, was kidnapped by Hades, king of the underworld. After Zeus intervened, Hades agreed to send Persephone back aboveground - but first he convinced her to taste the seeds of the pomegranate, an underworld fruit. Once she tried them, she could not remain completely cut off from Hades' realm, to which she had to return for three months every year.

And how do you reach the underworld? In Greco-Roman thought, dark, deep pits or caves were considered gateways to hell and were often used for rituals dedicated to pagan gods, say Boaz Zissu, who teaches classical archaeology at Bar-Ilan University, and Eitan Klein, one of Zissu's graduate students.

Zissu and Klein said in the study that the Twins Cave was used for just such pagan rituals between the second and fourth century C.E."

Continued
"seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness" Matthew 6:33




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