[ANE] The Cave of John the Baptist
The archive is publicly available so non-subscribers can read the whole message. Here is one excerpt, but it is all worth consulting:
In a sentence, the connection to the 1st century rests on the ceramic evidence, which is in turn connected to ritual activities associated with water purification rites and other ceremonies that were clearly going on in this period. Those who find Gibson's hypothesis weak need to suggest plausible alternatives that take into account such evidence and offer more persuasive explanations related to what was found. The 4th-5th century pilgrim hypothesis misses the mark totally when all is taken into account. It is part of the story, but only one part, in terms of the long history of this cave, its varied use, and its earlier connection to ritual activity.