The longest limestone caves of Israel


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Publication Date

January 2013


Despite Israel's small size and relative aridity, the country has thousands of caves in several rock types, spread out from Mt. Hermon in the north to Eilat in the south. The most common ones are hypogenic karst caves in limestone. Here we update the list of Israel longest limestone caves, originally published in 1983. The main changes since then result from the discovery of new long caves, as well as the development in caving and survey techniques. For example, the 150 m long southern part of the Abud Cave (western Shomron) was discovered by enlarging a tight squeeze. The newly discovered passages and chambers contained important archeological finds dated to the Chalcolithic and Bronze age. A new survey (by Boaz Langford and Mika Ulman in 2010) extended A'rak Na'sane Cave (eastern Shomron) from 310 to 1,150 m. Such developments led the Cave Research Center to re-survey the long limestone caves of Israel. After two years of intensive survey, it is now possible to present the updated list. Eight of the ten presently listed caves were unknown to us on 1983. The Judean and Samarian Desert continues to be the leading area in the number of caves. On 1983 one limestone cave was known to be longer than half a kilometre, while today all 10 caves are longer than half a kilometer.


Israel, Limestone, Hypogenic Karst, Karst

Document Type



Proceedings of the 16th International Congress of Speleology, At Brno, Vol. 2 (2013-01-01).