The entrance to the underworld in Jerusalem

It is a cave located in the western hills of the city. It could have been a place of divine prophecy. This is how the entrance to the underworld was found in Jerusalem.

Three skulls and more than 100 ceramic lamps were found in the cracks of the cave. It is speculated that necromancy was practiced there. The Te’omim cave has been studied since 1873. Spring water flows through the subway system. It was considered curative to those who used it between 4000 BC and the 4th century AD.

The entrance to the underworld in Jerusalem is a cave where necromantic artifacts were found.
The entrance to the underworld in Jerusalem is a cave where these lamps were found.

Gateway to the afterlife

In the 1970s when archaeologists discovered a series of secret passageways. They led to other hidden inner chambers. Long, narrow crevices abounded in these hidden areas. There were coins, pottery, metal weapons and, most importantly, lamps and skulls.

The few human remains were not exactly in plain sight. A skull with four late Roman lamps hidden in a crevice that was difficult to access. It is doubtful that they were used to illuminate the cave. Apparently it was a key way to communicate with demons, spirits or gods. Skulls were also associated with witchcraft. Daggers, swords and axes protected believers from evil spirits.

“It brings together all the necessary cultic and physical elements to serve as a possible portal to the underworld.” It is written by Eitan Klein of the Israel Antiquities Authority, Ashkelon Academic College, and Boaz Zissu of Bar-Ilan University.

Written sources from Roman and Greek times suggest that witches practiced necromancy in subway tombs or shrines. Other Greek writings from the 4th and 5th centuries speak of spells to seal the mouths of skulls. The rabbis of that time knew that skulls were used for necromancy in the Greco-Roman world.

Skulls and numerous ritual objects are in that cave.
Skulls and numerous ritual objects are in that cave.

Places of idolatry

Caves were considered key sites of idolatry by Jewish religious leaders. 80 women working in a cave south of Tel Aviv were once hanged for witchcraft. The entrance to the underworld in Jerusalem contains interesting clues. “Apart from the use of skulls for witchcraft and necromancy, rituals with human skulls are hardly mentioned in classical sources,” the two archaeologists note.

“Therefore, the unusual combination of artifacts from the cave is highly indicative of ancient divination.”

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