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The Te’omim Cave is a large karst cave located in the Jerusalem Hills. Since 2009, the cave has been explored by our team as a joint project of the Martin (Szusz) Department of Land of Israel Studies and Archaeology at Bar-Ilan University and the Cave Research Center at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Over 120 intact oil lamps were collected in the 2010–2016 survey seasons from all sections of the cave; most of them were dated to the second to fourth centuries CE. All of these lamps had been deliberately inserted in narrow, deep crevices in the main chamber walls or beneath the rubble. Some crevices contained groups of oil lamps mixed with weapons and pottery vessels from earlier periods or placed with human skulls. This article discusses the possibility that the oil lamps, weapons, human skulls, and other artifacts were used as part of necromancy ceremonies that took place in the cave during the Late Roman period, and that the cave may have served as a local oracle (nekyomanteion).
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