16 November 2009

Lut's Cave

According to the various versions of the legend, angels came to warn Lut and his family that Allah planned to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. They told him he should escape the city under cover of darkness and "run for the hills". They were also warned not to look back when they heard the fires falling on the city. Lut's wife couldn't bear it and looked back. She was instantly turned to a pillar of salt. She stands there until today looking back at her beloved home... She is a bit far from the cave and we didn't make it over there, so no pictures of her. Maybe later we can make our way over to see her.

The area has been under continuous excavation since 1988, yielding evidence of Early/Middle Bronze Age habitation as well as Nabatean pottery, Byzantine mosaics, and the earliest example of carved wood ever discovered intact in Jordan. It is a door that dates from the 7th century Umayyad period.

We climbed 294 steps up to the cave. Believe me when I tell you that was one hell of a climb!! Enjoy the pictures!

Somehow I managed to post this picture twice, and now that the blog has it he refuses to let me delete the duplicate.

The view toward Palestine. The green fields you see in the foreground were covered by the Dead Sea as few as 30 years ago. This shows how fast the Dead Sea is being lost. Most of the water that replenishes the sea is taken out of Jordan River by the Jews before it reaches the valley. Because of this overuse, the Dead Sea is disappearing at a rate of about 1 meter per year.

Bathing pools used by Lut and his clan. In those days the Jordan valley was even more lush and green than it is now.

From inside the cave

Entrance to the cave

This court has partially slipped down the hill, but it originally supported a church. The bishop's seat is raised a bit above the others. A shelter is planned for this area. When it is complete the five mosaics will be uncovered. Two of them have been dated to April 606 and May 691. I will definitely be back to see those when they are revealed again!

I think I look good in the Bishop's seat...what do you think?

Ayoub and Me

Zeek and me

Zeek and me. I was caught a bit off-guard I reckon.

Court area as seen from the Bishop's seat

Jordan Valley

Lut's Cave Museum. Not yet open, despite what you may have read in Jordan Times...

Making our way back down the stairs

Wow! 294 steps...

Lut's Museum

I did it, and lived to tell about it!!!!!!!

Finishing up the steps

Lut's Museum

A Greek text carved into stone. I didn't translate it yet, so go ahead and do it for me please...

The Keeper/Guide's shelter

That's one hell of a climb!!!

Dead Sea; these pictures were made on a brief stop on the way south to Lut's place.

That's Palestine on the other side of the sea

Palestine - A place I dream of seeing!

Palestine; even more history to see and touch...

It was a grand day trip! It's amazing to live in a place where I can visit sites thousands of years old with only a short car drive! The history here keeps me so busy looking round at everything! It's amazing to me, to think as I walk along that others so well known to us even until today walked, ate, slept in this same spot thousands of years ago. The Cradle of Civilization; I hope to live long enough to see every corner of it!

1 comment:

Shelia said...

Jim I have found the time to sit down with my cup of coffee and I have had a great morning looking at your pictures and reading all you have written. It has been a joy please keep it up. I am happy you have the pleasure of living there it is beautiful!!!! LOVE YA, SHELIA