Lot’s Cave, a stiff 10-minute climb up a steep flight of steps, is surrounded by the ruins of a small Byzantine church (5th to 8th centuries), a reservoir and some mosaics, which were excavated by the British Museum. Remains from the cave date to the early Bronze Age (3300–2000 BC) and an inscription in the cave mentions Lot by name.
Lot, the nephew of Abraham, features repeatedly in the colourful annals of the Dead Sea’s southern shores. Lot’s Cave, just past the Lisan Peninsula, is where he and his daughters are said to have lived after fleeing the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah; Lot’s wife is famously believed to have turned into a pillar of salt after looking back at the smouldering city.
In an eyebrow-raising incident that’s remarkable even for the Bible, it’s said that Lot’s two daughters spiked their father’s drink, had sex with him and then nine months later gave birth to his grandsons/sons Moab and Ben Ammi, the forefathers of the Moabite and Ammonite peoples.
The cave is 2km northeast of Safi and well signposted from the Dead Sea Highway. Look for the circular museum building on the hillside. Regular minibuses run between Karak and Safi (800 fils, one hour). If you’re relying on public transport, be prepared for a 2km walk from the highway.