Science: Cave Cache

Treasures in a hyena's lair

From the rim of a valley near the biblical city of Sodom on Israel's Dead Sea, the cave of Nahal Hemar (Hebrew for Asphalt River) is clearly visible in the face of the opposing limestone cliff, 9 ft. above the valley floor. Over the centuries, hyenas and nomadic shepherds have used the cave for shelter, and since the 1940s discovery of the famed Dead Sea Scrolls in another cave 40 miles to the north, Bedouin shepherds have scoured through Nahal Hemar vainly seeking similar treasures. Had the Bedouins probed deeper into the cave floor, their search might have been rewarded. In...

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