In May 1968, workers at the Hartuv quarry in the Judean Hills were quarrying with explosives. Each blast was much like the one before, until a strange gap opened up in the rock face. Peering inside, the men discovered a large cave, its roof dripping with stalactites, the oldest of which would later be dated to around 300,000 years old.
After its discovery, local authorities decided to keep the cave a secret, fearing the ancient formations would be damaged if it were opened to the public. Seven years later, on March 16, 1975, the cave was declared a nature reserve and its secrets were revealed.
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