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Israel’s Underground City Honored as World Heritage Site

Image: Tourists visit the Bell caves locate at the Beit Guvrin-Maresha National Park in central Israel
Tourists visit the Bell caves locate at the Beit Guvrin-Maresha National Park in central Israel, on June 24 2014. The UNESCO World Heritage Committee declared the caves of Beit Guvrin-Maresha to be a World Heritage Site. A network of some hundreds of man-made caves, excavated near the ancient towns of Maresha and Beit-Guvrin, that bear witness to a succession of historical periods of excavation and usage stretching over 2,000 years, from the Iron Age to the Crusades, as well as a great variety of subterranean construction methods, according to the committee. AFP PHOTO/MENAHEM KAHANAMENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images MENAHEM KAHANA / AFP - Getty Images

The United Nations cultural agency designated this week the network of over 2,000 years old, man-made caves outside of Jerusalem a World Heritage site, the eighth such site in Israel. UNESCO added the caves of Beit Guvrin-Maresha — known as a "city under a city" — to the prestigious list of World Heritage sites during its annual meeting in Qatar on Sunday.

Image: Saam Gabbay of the U.S. visits the Maze Cave of Beit Guvrin-Maresha
Saam Gabbay of the U.S. visits the Maze Cave of Beit Guvrin-Maresha, central Israel, Tuesday, June 24, 2014. Ariel Schalit / AP