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Ancient Refuge homepage

This hour-long program is divided into six chapters. Choose any chapter below and select QuickTime, RealVideo, or Windows Media Player to begin viewing. If you experience difficulty viewing, it may be due to high demand. We regret this and suggest you try back at another time.

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Chapter 1
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Journey to the Cave of Letters

An expedition of archeologists and historians sets off to explore a legendary cave in the Judean Desert.
running time 9:30

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Chapter 2
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Lives of the Refugees

A cache of papyrus documents and other artifacts offers a portrait of the Jews who sought refuge in the cave 2,000 years ago.
running time 9:51

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Chapter 3
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Defying the Romans

When ancient Jews rebel against the Roman Empire, Emperor Hadrian's response is brutal.
running time 8:35

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Chapter 4
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Search for the First Occupation

Using remote sensing equipment, team members peer through 15 feet of rubble seeking evidence that the cave harbored not one but two waves of refugees.
running time 6:32

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Chapter 5
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Secrets of the Copper Scroll

A cryptic first-century text may indicate that the Cave of Letters harbors relics from the great temple of Jerusalem.
running time 6:15

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Chapter 6
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Controversial Evidence

Scholars debate whether artifacts found in the cave are the sacred objects many religious Jews hope to find.
running time 8:24

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Ancient Refuge in the Holy Land
Babatha's Life and Times

Babatha's Life
and Times

Who was the young Jewish widow who hid her documents in the cave?

Behind the Scenes

Behind the Scenes
NOVA's executive producer Paula Apsell recalls her visit to the cave.

Babatha's Scroll

Babatha's Scroll
Translate a 2,000-year-old cave document from Greek into English.

Stumbing Upon a Treasure

Stumbling Upon
a Treasure

Hear from the man who found the cave's famous basket of bronzes.

Remote Excavation

Remote Excavation
Forget trowels and brushes. Think GIS, satellite imagery, etc.



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