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Archaeology/Cave Structures.


QUESTION: Dear Ralph

Are Caves always Closed Structures ?. i.e. The Entry and Exit Points are always the same. There can be multiple entry points to enter the cave structure but the entry points will be always the exit points ?. Exit point i mean is coming out of the cave structure. For example in a Theater hall the entry (To enter the Cinema Hall) and exit (To exit the Cinema Hall) points may be different.

Will there be any specific advantages if exit points are created /constructed (only if exit points do not exist) within the cave
structures ?

Awaiting your reply,

Thanks & Regards,
Prashant S Akerkar

ANSWER: Hi Prashant,

Cave systems can be as simple as a simple "rock shelter" to as complex as "Mammoth Cave" in the US.  There are some cave systems that have many openings (exits/entrys) and others that only have one.  Some openings are so large you can fly an airplane into them while others are barely big enough for a bat or insects to fly into.  Some systems are totally under water while some are totally dry.   So, cave systems are different from one to the next.  

In Anatolia, Turkey, a natural cave system was augmented by people who lived in them.  They added entries/exits, they expanded rooms and dug wells.  They could live and hide in this system with out ever being found by invaders.  In the SW of America, the Anastasi Indians expanded rock shelters and built complex apartment houses of stone and mud brick.  And you could only get to them with special ladders or ropes which could be removed to keep the "enemy" out.  

I'm not sure if I answered your question.  If I did not, please ask more questions.  

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Dear Ralph

Thank you.

Can Caves exploration help in identifying potential sources of Minerals
for Mankind ?.

Awaiting your reply,

Thanks & Regards,
Prashant S Akerkar

Hi Prashant,

It can but most caves are located in limestone.  Limestone is easily eroded by ground water creating the caves. But not all caves are created in this way.  Some, such as Volcanic "tubes" may contain minerals of value like sulphur.  Others, made by very hot mineral rich waters can also leave deposits on the walls that indicate mineral wealth but both of these are not common.  90 % of caves are Limestone systems.  


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Ralph Salier


Archaeologist for the last 30 years. Norh American generalist and Hopwell culture/Red Ocher culture specifically. Lithics Expert and Ground Stone tools.


Past/Present clients
Numerous museums in US and Canada. Several University Anthropology Departments.

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