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Qesem Cave

By Avi GopherRan Barkai

INTRODUCTION

Qesem Cave is situated 12 km east of the Mediterranean coast, 90 m above sea level, in the western foothills of the Samaria Hills. The cave was formed in Turonian limestone under phreatic conditions, like other chamber caves in the area. After regional uplift it was dewatered and truncated by sub-aerial erosion. It has undergone several stages of natural and human-induced deposition, as well as subsidence and collapse. The cave was discovered in 2000 during construction work. Its ceiling is no longer extant due to natural erosion and recent construction works, and some of the cave deposits have been damaged. Enough was preserved, however, to justify the initiation of a field project.

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