Welcome to Palestine – A Land of the Heart
With a history that envelops more than one million years, Palestine has played an important role in human
Embroidery Historic Of Palestine
Palestinian embroidery is a rich artistic tradition that has been passed down by mothers to their daughter through generations. Designs vary from village to village. The main techniques used in Palestine are, cross-stitch and couching stitch (Tahriri). Women intricately embellish dresses, jackets, cushions, tablecloths and pillows made from natural hand-dyed and woven materials. However, dresses have always been the most common embroidered items.
Dresses for everyday use are embroidered with silk while dresses for special occasions are use golden or silver threads. Traditional wedding dresses include layers of embroidered material, embellished with coral beads and golden or silver coins. The materials used indicate the financial and social standing of the family as well as their place of origin. Because the work is time-consuming, embroidered pieces of worn out articles are often cut out and used to embellish smaller items. Click to see my simple Historic the Palestinians Traditional Stylish
The Tahriri embroidery of the Bethlehem area combines silver, gold and silk threads to decorate front panels of wedding dresses and the side panels of skirts and cuffs of the long traditional dresses. The elaborate patterns are often filled in with herringbone and satin stitches in vibrantly colored silks. Some have pointed out the resemblance to intricate church ornaments, liturgical clothing, and even the ornamentation on the uniforms of Ottoman and British officers.”Palestine vacation civilization. The crucible of prehistoric cultures, it is the cradle where societies evolved and the alphabet, religion, and literature developed. Palestine would become a melting pot for diverse cultures and ideas that shaped the world we know today. Its rich and diverse past, abundant cultural heritage, and the archaeological and religious sites of the three monotheistic faiths, including the birthplace of Jesus Christ, make Palestine a unique center of world history.
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Visitors to Palestine will encounter on their journey myriad religious, historical, and archaeological sites. Beyond the historical, Palestine offers walks and hikes in its extensive valleys, along coasts, as well as desert hills, towns, and ancient marketplaces at the hearts of cities and villages nestled in the heart of breath-taking landscapes. Visitors will enjoy Palestine’s sumptuous cuisine and, most importantly feel the warmth and hospitality of the Palestinian people, Christians and Muslims alike, who will share with them the hopes and aspirations of a nation that is in the process of rebuilding. With its million years of human history, and a welcoming people offering courteous hospitality, visitors are left with the warm feeling of being at home
The Ministry is cooperating with the private sector to create new packages under new themes including trails that cover Unknown Sites in Palestine and aims to develop social responsible tourism. Social responsible tourism is about making better places for people to live and better places for people to visit. Through social responsible tourism the Ministry seeks to provide tourists with enhanced services, cultural activities, economic opportunities and experiential tourism. The aim is for tourists to explore Palestinian cultural heritage and enjoy the beauty and diversity of the Palestinian landscape.
The Ministry is very proud of the hospitality of the Palestinian people. Tourists who visit Palestine feel at home as they meet the very hospitable and sociable local population who receive them with smiling faces and courteous tongues. According to many tourists who have recently visited Palestine, the Palestinian population is well-behaved, gregarious and most hospitable
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The city of Bethlehem is holy to both Christians and Muslims. It is acknowledged as the birthplace of Jesus Christ – who is known as the Son of God in Christian belief and as a divinely inspired prophet by Muslims. The Church of the Nativity, a Byzantine basilica, was built by Helena (the mother of Emperor Constantine) to commemorate Jesus’ birth. It is built on top of a cave where, according to a tradition first documented in the second century AD, Jesus was born. It was first dedicated in 339 AD.
The city itself has a long pre-Roman history that was first documented in the fourteenth century BC in the Amarna letters. Archaeological evidence from the Chalcolithic period and the Bronze and Iron ages shows that the earliest human presence was on the eastern slope of the city’s central hill, and in the middle of the fields of Beit Sahour. It was probably here that the Iron Age city lay, but by the tenth to eighth centuries BC, the town was located on the high ridge of today’s Bethlehem, in the area of the gardens around and east of today’s Church of the Nativity. During this early period the caves beneath the church were still in use. By 700 BC, the town had lost some of its significance but became an important center once more during the Hellenistic and Roman periods, when the construction of the Jerusalem aqueduct meant that part of its water was diverted to the city.See the most up-to-date version of your STA Travel flight itinerary with our Check My Trip tool. Get flight departure and arrival times, view your current seat assignments, and get up-to-the-minute flight statusCheap flights tickets
Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem at the end of Herod’s reign determined the destiny of the town. Under Constantine, the first Christian emperor, the Church of the Nativity was built as one of three imperial churches in Palestine. At the end of the fourth century AD, Saint Jerome settled in Bethlehem and built two monasteries with the help of Saint Paula. The church was destroyed in 529 AD and was rebuilt on a much grander scale under Justinian; this structure remains essentially the church that stands today. The city was depicted on the Madaba mosaic map in the sixth century AD. Ready To check your hotel inWest Bank sites -Bethlehem Jericho Click here Check Hotels Deals
The church is the central feature of Bethlehem, and is surrounded by other important sites related to Christ’s birth. Among these is the Milk Grotto, an irregular cave hewn in the soft limestone, located southeast of the basilica, where according to Christian traditions, Mother Mary nursed baby Jesus while hiding there from Herod’s soldiers. The Shepherds’ Fields, where the angel of the Lord is believed to have appeared before the shepherds, bringing them the good tidings of the birth of Jesus, are roughly two kilometers east of Bethlehem. There are two competing sites: one that belongs to the Roman Catholics, and another that is the property of the Greek Orthodox Church. Get Your Guide
Bethlehem’s old town is the place where a wide range of religious and traditional activities takes place. The Patriarch Route, which runs along Star Street, is the route of a religious parade that passes through during every Christmas season. Manger Square hosts a grand celebration each year, marking the anniversary of the birth
Hidden among pine trees in a small valley that lies four kilometers south of Bethlehem, Solomon’s Pools consist of three huge rectangular reservoirs made of stone and masonry that can hold 160,000 cubic meters of water. Although tradition attributes these to King Solomon, the pools almost certainly date from the time of Herod and may have been conceived by Pontius Pilate. In the past, the reservoirs collected spring and rainwater and pumped it to Bethlehem and Jerusalem. They continued to function until the time of the British Mandate.
Qalat al-Burak, an Ottoman fortress that dates back to the seventeenth century is located near the pools and was built to protect their water sources
DEA SEA DAILY TOUR Click here
The Dead Sea, also known as the Salt Sea and the Sea of Lot, is a unique body of water in the Jordan Rift Valley. The Dead Sea is 85 kilometers long and 17 kilometers wide and covers an area of about 677 square kilometers. It lies about 417 meters below sea level, making the Dead Sea the lowest point on Earth. In addition, the Dead Sea is the world’s saltiest large water body, with a salt concentration ten times higher than that of the Mediterranean.
The earliest traces of nearby human habitation date back to the Chalcolithic period (approximately 4500 to 2500 BC) and have been mentioned in the Bible and described by many Greek, Roman and Arab writers.
The entire basin is a spectacular landscape characterized by the abundance of a variety of ecosystems, including semitropical marshland, mudflats, wetlands, semi-desert, and arid desert. The diverse ecosystems that surround the Dead Sea make this area an important site for biodiversity. It is home to some rare and threatened flora and fauna, such as the Lesser Kestrel. The Dead Sea basin is considered one of the main global bird migration routes, as well as an important bird habitat in the Middle East. Along with its ecological importance, the Dead Sea is rich in minerals, attracting millions of visitors who wish to take advantage of Cheap hotels of the therapeutic qualities of its waters
Located around 6 km west of Bethlehem, in 2014, Battier became Palestine’s second UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its tiered farmlands, stone-walled terraces that date back to the Roman era and a unique natural irrigation network that continues to distribute water from underground sources to the families of the village.
The hike will take you across one of Palestine’s natural treasures as you hike from the Makhrour Valley to the village of Battir.In this section, you will find a wide range of proposed itineraries. Depending on your interest, available time and budget, there are lots of tours to choose from. From day trips that can be organized specifically for your party, to regularly scheduled day tours to longer trous ranging from 3-7 nights
SEBASTIYA TO NABLUS HIKING TOUR
Sebastiya: Starting from the hilltop ruins of Sabastiya – the ancient city of Samaria, later named Sebaste in honor of the Roman Emperor and sponsor of the city’s renovation – the trail wanders along dirt roads through lemon orchards before ascending to the shrine of Sheikh Shaleh, originally a fortress strategically located to monitor traffic through the region.Nablus city lies some 66 km to north of Jerusalem and is with its approximately 130,000 inhabitants is the second largest (after Hebron) city in the West Bank with an ancient history. It is regionally famous for its native sweet knafeh and traditionally well-known for its soap industry (soaps made with pure olive oil). Before the current Intifada, Nablus was the major commercial, industrial and agricultural center in the northern West Bank, but invasions, checkpoints, and curfews have severely damaged the city’s economy and infrastructure.
Mt. Ebal: Leaving the shrine the path continues along a ridgeline through highland fields and farms in the direction of Mt. Ebal, the biblical “mountain of curses,” which is located on the north side of Nablus, opposite Mt. Gerizim, the “mountain of blessings.” Before reaching Mt. Ebal, the trail descends into the city of Nablus, nestled in a deep valley between Mt. Ebal and Mt. Gerizim.
Old City of Nablus: Explore the Old City of Nablus with its markets. Visit a traditional olive soap factory, a traditional Turkish bath and stop by a local Find Your Trip Guide
JERUSALEM & RAMMAHA TOUR
Same tour as the Jerusalem Political Tour but including Ramallah, some 17 km north of Jerusalem. Ramallah and its ‘sister city’ Al-Bireh have no major tourist sites, but is a lively town with a booming restaurant and bar scene and has become, despite all movement and other restrictions, the commercial, business and cultural center of the West Bank. During both the first and second Intifadas, Ramallah was one of the centers of confrontations with the Israeli army, and today it serves as the headquarters of the Palestinian Authority.
Walking tour with a professional guide through the four quarters of the Old City, passing by all the main tourist sights and holy places inside the walled city FOR ALL INFO YOU NEED -PRIVATE TOUR GIDE PLEASE SEND MESSAGE
Jericho is a green oasis in the Jordan Valley some 30 km east of Jerusalem, 7 km west of the River Jordan, and 10 km north of the Dead Sea. It lies 250 meters below sea level and is considered to be the lowest city in the world. Jericho is also the oldest city in the world with some of the ruins discovered in the city being 10,000 years old. Besides its tourist sites, Jericho is an important area for agriculture and is famous for its citrus fruits, dates, bananas, flowers and winter vegetables. The city is also home to two refugee camps (Aqabat Jaber and Ein Sultan Refugee Camps) and the further Jericho district several Israeli settlements have been built, mostly on land confiscated from the Palestinian owners.
our to Jericho and its Environs:
On the way to Jericho, we travel through the vast mountainous wilderness of the Judean Desert, pass by two sites:
the Good Samaritan Inn, built near the remains of the church of St. Euthymius, believed to be the site to commemorate the story of the Good Samaritan who helped Jesus on his return journey to Jerusalem, and
the spot marking the ‘sea level Stops on our way include:
Maqam Al-Nabi Musa: The tomb of Prophet Moses lies 8 km southwest of Jericho just off the main Jericho-Jerusalem road. It is a splendid example of early Islamic architecture set in an awe-inspiring landscape. The mosque is considered holy because it houses the grave of Moses according to local tradition (Moses is recognized by Muslims as one of the great prophets of Islam). The tomb has been the site of an annual pilgrimage festival or mawsim at least since the time of the Muslim leader Salah Eddin (Saladin). Until 1947, Muslims celebrated the week-long Nabi Musa festival every spring here. The huge cemetery outside the walls of Nabi Musa is reserved for Muslim pilgrims who died here during the festivals or those who asked to be buried here because of the festivals or those who asked to be buried here because of the sanctity of the site. The Oslo Accord of 1992 between Israel and the PLO placed the sanctuary under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Ministry of the Islamic Waqf.
Saint George Monastery and Wadi Qelt: Greek Orthodox monastery built in the 19th Century hewn out of the rock in the Wadi Qelt, which is a natural rift in the hills with high, sheer rock walls extending 45km between Jerusalem and Jericho. The narrow and difficult road lining the Wadi was once the main road to Jericho. It is now used only by tourists visiting the monastery, the wadi, the springs, and the ancient water systems. During the Persian invasion of Palestine in AD 614, the monastery was destroyed and many of its monks were killed. Skulls and mummies of the deceased are on display at the monastery. The most spectacular attractions are the 6th-century mosaics in the floor of the Church of St John.
Mount of Temptation (Jabal Quruntul): The Mount of Temptation rises about 350 m west of Jericho overlooking the Jericho oasis and the Jordan Valley. Here, after his baptism in the
Jordan River, Jesus was led into the desert by the Holy Ghost to be tempted by the Devil and spent 40 days and nights fasting and meditating during the temptation of Satan (the monastery’s name, Deir Quruntul, is derived from the Latin word ‘quarantine’ meaning forty). The present Greek Orthodox monastery was built in 1895 and has Byzantine art treasures as well as a stone on which Jesus is believed to have sat during the Temptation.
SITES In Jericho:
Tel Al-Sultan (Old Jericho): The most ancient city of Jericho is situated on a mound overlooking the oasis; excavations at the site uncovered settlements dating from 9000 BC and more than 23 layers of ancient civilizations. Visible structures include the oldest known stairs in the world, the oldest wall, and the massive, round, defense tower dating from before 7000 BC. Those finds make Jericho arguably the oldest continually inhabited site on earth.Download a Map of Jericho
Ein Al-Sultan (Spring of Elisha): Close by Tel Al-Sultan is the Spring of Elisha, due to its output the most important of all springs of Jericho. Ein Al-Sultan was called by this name because the Babylonians put out the eyes of the ousted king of Jerusalem here. It is also called Elisha‘s well, after prophet Elisha who purified its waters by salt.
Qasr Hisham – Hisham’s Palace: The extensive remains of a winter palace commonly called Hisham’s Palace because it was first thought to have been built by the Umayyad Caliph Hisham bin Abdul Malek (724-743 AD), but later rather attributed to his nephew and successor Al-Walid bin Yazid (743-744) because its unorthodox decoration is incompatible with the character of the austere, righteous Hisham. The palace is a complex of buildings, baths, mosques, and colonnaded courts. Its mosaics and stucco ornaments are fine examples of early Islamic art and architecture. The mosaic floors of the baths and the tree of Life of the guest room (also called the Tree of Human Cruelty) – one of the most beautiful mosaics in the world – is a major attraction.
Jericho stretches out east of the tel of ancient Jericho, which dates back to 10,000 years, and is most famous for the fall of it walls, caused by the holy ram’s horn trumpets blown by Joshua’s priests. Jericho was the first city to be conquered by the Hebrews after the Exodus. It was razed to the ground and cursed, then rebuilt by Ahabin the 9th century BC. It was later fortified by the Maccabees. Jesus passed through Jericho several times.
The origin of the name “Jericho” is Semitic. To the Canaanites, it meant “The Moon”. In Syriac, the name meant “Scent and odor”. The city is also called “The city of Palm” and “The Garden of God”.
Jericho is a green oasis in the Jordan Valley which lies 7 km west of the River Jordan, 10 Km north of the Dead Sea and 30 Km east of Jerusalem. It lies 250 meters below sea level and thus it is considered to be the lowest city in the world.
The origin of the name “Jericho” is Semitic. To the Canaanites it meant “The Moon”. In Syriac the name meant “Scent and odour”. The city is called “The city of Palm” and “The Garden of God”.
Jericho is the oldest city in the world. The ruins of the oldest civilization discovered in Jericho are 10,000 years old. There are a lot of important and beautiful historical places to visit in Jericho, such as Old Jericho, River Jordan where Jesus Christ was baptized, Mount of Temptation, Hisham Palace, Ein Al-Sultan (Elisha) spring, Sycamore tree, Monastery of Saint George (Wadi Kelt), Hasmoneans (Herod) Palace,Monastery of Dier hajlah, Kumran Caves, Dead Sea, and a lot more. The nice climate of the city is conducive to tourism both domestic and International.
The average temperature in January is 8.5 degrees and the lowest average annual temperature is 17 degrees. The average annual temperature is 23.5 degrees and the highest average annual temperature is 30.5 degrees. The average annual amount of rainfall is 150 millimeters, and the average annual humidity is 52%.
The amount of rainfall in the Jericho area is less than that of the surrounding mountains and the coastal regions, thus Jericho area relies entirely for drinking and irrigation on subterranean wells and springs such as the Ein Al-Sultan spring. The source of this water is situated in the distant mountains. Ein Al-Sultan spring in considered to be the main source for agriculture. It has an output of 680 cubic meters an hour, and a salinity of 600 fractions in one million. It provides a steady output throughout the year. It is used equally for drinking water and for irrigating.
In addition to its tourist sites, Jericho is considered to be an important area for agriculture. It is famous for its citrus fruits, dates, bananas, flowers and winter vegetables.
The area within the municipality limits is about 45 square kilometers, and the population of the city of Jericho alone is 17,000. If we include the population of the surrounding villages and refugee camps the number goes up to 25,000 inhabitants
and their significance The origin of the name, “Jericho” is Semitic. The common people pronounce it “Riha”. To the Cananaites it meant “the moon”. The word is derived from the verb “yerihu”, and “Yarah”. Al-Yarah in the language of southern Arabia means “a month” and “moon”. In Hebrew “yarihu” is the most ancient known city in the Jewish Bible. “Riha” in Syriac means “scent and odour.”
The Arabs knew the city of Jericho referred to in the Bible by the name “Raiha” and “Ariha”.Yaqut, the writer of “Mu’jam al-Buldan,” mentions that it is the city of Al-Jabbarin (the Mighty) in the Ghaur, and that it was called Ariha Ibn Malik Ibn Arfakhshad Ibn Sam Ibn Noah, may peace be upon him. He mentions another name for it, Ariha’ mentioned in the poetry of Jarir:
I shall have to increase that suspicion which has beset the slave of Banu Numair.
The devils of the land fear my roar, and the serpent of Aryaha’ has responded to me.
Yaqut also refers to it in the form “Ariha’. in the measure, He quotes Al-Hutahle’s saying: I searched for it (my sword) among the swords of Jericho, and when it returned to my hand I found no parallel to it.
Al-Bakri says. “It is ‘Ariha’, or perhaps ‘Ariha’, when attributing (a noun ) to it they just say ‘Aryahiyy’, It was called, “Anthony’s present to Cleopatra, when Egypt fell under the rule of Anthony, Cleopatra, the beautiful Queen of Egypt met him. He was so bewitched by her beauty that he deserted his wife, sister of Octavious ( Augustus ). Cleopatra deprived her lover of his will-power for nine whole months. He became infatuated with her and offered her a large section of Syria. The Palestinian shores, together with Jericho and its groves abundant with balm, as well as the Dead Sea, were among what he offered Cleopatra.
The city of Jericho was called “Wadi As-Saisaban, Valley of Sesban”. It was given this name because of the abundance of a certain plant that grows there. It densely entwines round its groves like a fence, and is still found there.
It was also called, ” Tall As-Sultan ” ( the Hill of the Sultan ) or ” Ain Alisha’ ” ( The Spring of Alisha’ ), as ancient Jericho was merely a small artificial hill called ” Tall as-Sultan “, which is the precursor ( origin ) of the first city. It was also called ” Madinat an-Nakhil ” (The City of Palms) because palm trees grow in its soil and are abundantly found in it. It was also called ” Ruwaiha ” ( the diminution of Raiha’ ) which is eight miles away to the south east of present Jericho. Rousseau has defined Ariha and Riha as each one is applicable, to the city and region together. Jericho is one of the most ancient human habitations. The most ancient human remains were found in it, some of which go back to 5000 years B.C. Others believe that these remains go back to 7000 years B.C. The most recent opinion on this subject is that they date back to 8000 years B.C.
The site of ancient Jericho is half a kilometre away from modern Jericho at a depth of 820 feet ( 250 metres) below sea level. It lies at latitude 31 52 degrees north and longitude 35 39 degrees east.
The evidence indicating that it is one of the most ancient cities in the world is borne up by a series of excavations made at ” Tall as-Sultan “, which is oval in shape, formed by the successive accumulation of ruins with the passing of time. Excavations have been continuing successively since the middle of the nineteenth century up till now.
The German-Austrian Mission in which the two archeologists E. Sellin and C. Watzinger worked, was the first one to be interested in uncovering the antiguities of Jericho, and that was in 1911. They were succeeded by the English, who conducted excavations at Tall as-Sultan under the supervision of first J. Garstang ( 1930-1936 ) and completed by Miss K. Kenyon ( 1952-1961 ). She published a resume of her work in two huge volumes ( 1960-1965 ). She is considered to be the greatest authority on this subject. She is the one to have estimated the age of the city to be 8000 years B.C. Its habitation certainly started about that time which undoubtedly makes it the most ancient known city in the world.
That is why it is probable that the most ancient civilization in the world did not appear in the Nile Valley or the Tigris and Euphrates Valley, but in the Jordan Valley. Dr. Kenyon gave the name of ” Ariha al-Ula ” ( The first Jericho ) to the first construction of the city which was sacked and destroyed as a result of invasions, earthquakes and fire time and again. Every time it was destroyed it rose once again on the ruins of the past Jericho. Kenyon and the archeologists who preceded her were able to distinguish between the successive periods Jericho passed Miss Kenyon’s excavations have revealed that the ancient city was inhabited during four successive intervals during this age. The first was the first Neolithic Time. In this it was inhabited by a folk called ” An-Natifiyyun “, who depended for their food on collecting wild seeds. It is probable that they did not plant seeds in reality, but owned scythes with flint edges, straight bone handles to harvest wild seeds, and stone mortars with handles for grinding them. Some of these groups lived in caves, while other groups occupied primitive villages excelling in the art of architecture. So they started to build round huts from sun-dried bricks flat at the bottom curving at the higher edge. They used to bury their dead with their personal jewellery in graves hewn out of rock.
These folks dug out canals using the waters of ” Ain as-Sultan to irrigate their lands. They constructed huge walls two metres wide round their villages. They erected in them a circular huge tower, nine metres ( thirty feet ) in diametre, and ten metres high. In its midst there are stairs leading from the bottom of the town to its top. They were exposed to the attacks of groups from outside. These folks practised agriculture, the domestication of animals, and weaving the making chains and mats, as well as animal hunting. They used spears and flint-capped arrows. They also used hatchets to cut tree branches. These groups had started to expand from their settlements in search of new homes outside their boundaries
The pre-Clay Age or the Second Neolithic Age in Jericho, 5500 B.C.The building of houses in this interval showed a great progress. Their rooms were about 6.5 metres by 5 metres or 3 by 7 metres. They were usually of a rectangular shape built in an open yard, seven metres long and seven metres wide and used for cooking. The thickness of their wall was half a metre. They used stones to build the foundation, and the rest of the building was built of sun-dried bricks. Its shape was similar to the iron used for cauterising animals. So the brick was rectangular in shape with sharpened edges. The floor formed was of a mud layer topped by a layer of lime, followed by soft lime dyed red or light blue. Then it was polished to acquire a new lustre.
Its houses were of one or two stories. The ceiling was built of reeds and mud. Their flint intensils were sharp-edged. Small statues were made of unbaked mud. In the past these statues possessed a religious significance. Female statues might indicate the fertility goddess. It seems that these folks practiced the worship of ancestors as nine skulls were found whose facial features were painted with lime with two mother-of-pearl eyes placed on their faces.
The pre-Clay Age or the Second Neolithic Age in Jericho, 5500 B.C.This Age preceded by many centuries the discovery of pottery. The people who lived in this period were raiders coming from outside. They settled at Tall, and might have been nomadic Bedouins. Their looms have been found but their homes have disappeared. Jasper beads and pierced mother-of-pearl were found to be possessed by them. They buried their dead collectively in special vaults inside the city. They kept skulls in particular in the mausoleum of prominent men of their age. The lifespan of many of them is estimated, in the light of their remains to be 35 years. Few of them reached the age of 50. This Age is divided into two periods:
- The first Neolithic Pottery Age:
People in this age lived in pits. They worked in agriculture and in domesticating animals. They introduced the manufacture of pottery to their homes, but it was a primitive and rough one painted in red in geometrical figures.
- The Second Neolithic Pottery Age:
People in this age were a great deal more advanced than their predecessors, as they lived in huts built of clay and manufactured earthenware in inclined lines.
At the end of the Neolithic Age which was about the year 4000 B.C., a vacancy occurred in man’s residence in Jericho and it became uninhabited for a certain period of time. There are two different evidences to support this: the existence of an accumulated layer of disintegrated organic matter over the Hill, part of which is recognizable, and the absence of any remains from the age known as the Chalcolithic Age which followed the Neolithic Age, and in which metals were used for the first time.
The date of man’s habitation on the Tall ( Hill ) can be traced back to about 3200 B.C. The best illustration of this can be found in tombs. The main cemeteries of old Jericho are found on the site on which the ‘Aqapat Jabr refugee camp stands from the northern part. Some graves were dug up in the streets and courtyards of the camp. The most interesting of these graves is one which goes back to that age, as it was found as a result of an examination by carbon number 14, that its history goes back to 3260 B.C. ± 110 years. That grave contained 113 skulls arranged round the tomb’s chamber. The center of the chamber contained a heap of burnt bones. Some of the skulls carried the traces of scorching a heap of burnt bones. Some of the skulls carried the traces of scorching but were not deliberately burnt. This indicates the existence of certain strange customs in connection with burial rites. we also conclude that the bodies of the dead were first placed in the open until the flesh was decomposed and separated from the bones. The collecting of these numerous bone skeletons followed, with the skulls being symmetrically arranged in a row round the tomb’s chamber with their faces directed towards the inside. The bones were heaped in the middle with the necessary inflammable material. Then it was set on fire. When the heap cooled down after burning, the funeral offerings made mostly of earthenware, were placed in the grave, while the burnt bones were covered by a layer of stone chips. In reality, the other archeological discoveries in Palestine and Trans-Jordan did not produce any evidence corroborating the existence on these customs, though the custom of exposing bodies in the open, until the flesh disintegrated was not a custom remote from what was familiar. We have nothing about those people except that they were the pioneers of the following age, that is the First Bronze Age, which was the most prosperous one in Jordan and Palestine. We see the features of the First Bronze Age, which extends from 2900 B.C, evidently clear in Jericho especially with regard to defensive fortifications in the town. These fortifications were, no doubt, supremely important.
The defensive walls were repaired and rebuilt sixteen times during the First Bronze Age which lasted 600 years. It is often difficult to indicate the various periods when the renewal of the building of the walls was made, as they used to fall down as a result of earthquakes, or because of infiltration of water into their foundations, and the people were prompt to repair them. Some destruction befell the walls as a result of enemy attacks. In any case there appear on these walls during that period the traces of destruction and ruin, but traces of repairs and renewed building are also apparent on then. This goes to show that the inhabitants of the town lived a life devoid of security and stability.
Nevertheless, the general picture shows a continuous improvement in the fields of civilization and construction as people started to use copper in large quantities in order to manufacture weapons and tools. Pottery utensils show an abundance of trade exchange with all neighbouring valleys.
This period revealed a great progress in civilization, as it was accompanied by the appearance of new towns in numerous sites that had been hitherto uninhabited. But this civilization, along with other civilizations preceding it, crumbled and came to an end at the hands of Bedouin raiders. It seems that the people at the end of First Bronze Age started to enjoy a greater stability and tranquility leading to the neglect of these defensive fortifications.
But then came a time in which they woke up from their heedlessness because the latest wall, dating back to that period reveals quick ill-contructed repairs on the remains of a wall previously constructed. The foundation stones appear as if they had been hurriedly dropped and with no organization. Then the wall started to be built of baked brick moulds over the stones. Baked brick moulds used in other walls appear on this wall. But calamity overtook those folks before they completed the construction of that wall which was itself destroyed by fire, and the town fell into the hands of raiding Bedouin tribes
Successive Peoples who came to Jericho after 2300 B.C.
- The Hyksos
- The Canaanites
- The Israelite Invasion
- Jericho after the Israelites
After this date new inhabitants settled in Jericho. They resided first on the top of the Hill. They built for themselves some ramshackle homes. The spread of these homes stretched on the Hill slopes, as there was no defensive wall in that interval. There is an edifice on the western side which may have been originally a temple, as what resembles an altar was discovered together with the remains of a small animal under its foundations. This period is known as marking the beginning of the Middle Bronze Age.
In reality the tombs of those people attracted most attention, contrary to the collective cemeteries where the dead used to be buried in previous ages. They buried one dead person in every grave only placing with him some chattels and jewellery. Graves stretching 248 metres from the original three hundred and sixty metres were discovered at Tall A-Sultan. Some of these graves were very wide with the pit’s width being three metres and its depth five metres. The dimensions of the mausoleum chamber were 360, 330 and a height of 260 cms, which necessitated digging out 150 tons of rocks, and all this was for the sake of burying one person. We can see that bodies were exposed until the bones were stripped off before they were buried, as the folks who came before them did. The objects placed inside the grave varied in accordance with the models of graves. In some of them there was nothing save a dagger, in others pins and beads ( presumably these belonged to women ). In some others some pottery utensils only were found, while in other tombs a number of jars, a dagger or a spear head. Nevertheless all these had one thing common namely the existence of a small niche hewn out of the wall of the mausoleum chamber. It contained a four-headed lamp, the type which was prevalent in that period. It appears that on the smooth surface of a rock of the corners of a grave that someone had drawn some small pictures in the form of a goat or an ibex or a tree, in addition to two men armed with spears and shields. This is, as we know, the only known illustration from these people. Then earthenware utensils are not distinguished for accuracy and mastery, having no adornment except for some circular lines which are colourless, and no paint of any sort, a proof that they were only made then for utilitarian use without any interest to decorate them.
It is probable that these new inhabitants were no other than the Amorites who occupied most of the Middle Eastern countries, including Iraq and Egypt, during the period between 2300-1900 B.C. But they themselves were the victims of a greater invasion by the Hyksos
Jericho was one of the strong-holds of the Hyksos or Shepherd Kings 1750-1580 B.C. as the Bible calls them. It is believed that they brought horses with them, and perhaps the chariot, to Palestine and Egypt.
Their houses were well built and covered the whole top of the Hill. Before their arrival the town was surrounded by a strong baked bricks, wall. They introduced a brand new system of defensive fortifications, not to Jericho alone, but also to all parts of Palestine. This new defensive system consisted of a steep earth slope topped by a wall made of moulded baked bricks.
The tombs of this period are generally characterized by being the tombs of ancient people reused. One can see the grave chamber covered by a big stone, and the opening filled with earth. It seems that the reason for the preservation of things in good condition is accounted for by the infiltration of gases from cracks in the rock. They were accumulated in the chamber eradicating moth and disintegration germs. Wooden tables, baskets, seats, stuffing and artificial hairs, and even pieces of votive offerings’ flesh were found, all remaining in a good condition. All tombs were in the shape of collective mausoleums. They used to accumulate the bone skeletons and first offerings in the corners to leave room for the new dead. In the Palestine Archeological Museum in Jerusalem there is one of these tombs, constructed in accordance with the condition in which it was in the ancient times. Jericho was the third city in importance as its geographical situation had the advantage of controlling the direct route with the lands rich in cereals in Trans jordan.
The Canaanites fa-arrow-circle-down these were among the folks that emigrated from Arabia to physical Syria, and Jericho was one of their most important cities ( 1400 B.C. ). The name ” Jericho ” to them meant ” the moon “. Their houses were built near the site of Al-‘Ain where the fortress gate stood. The area of the city was six acres in their time, and its walls reached a height of twenty one feet.
Their type of architecture followed this model : every building consisted of one room having side doors and elevated platforms and was surrounded by asphalted black soil. Their walls were built on the Babylonian style. The grandeur of their buildings was evident from their monuments which included stone columns on both banks of the Jordan River, from the inside of the Temple of Jericho, and from the buildings erected round a courtyard in the middle of which there was a wide arched gate which led into it. This Canaanite style still prevails in the Palestinian rural areas as well as cities, and in the circular type of the architecture of the dome which appears in the villages of ‘Ain Malaha,’ Ainat, Jericho and Wadi An-Nutuf. It is one of the most prominent characteristics of Canaanite architecture.
The Canaanites excelled in the sculpture of statues and in pictorial sculpture which appears in the layers of gypsum covering the skulls, and which are similar to a head cover. It is exactly similar to the contemporary head dress worn by Palestinian women. It is known by its popular name, “Al-Wiqahyah” ( The protector ), or ” As-Samada” or ” Al- ‘Usabh al-kan’aniyyah “( The Canaanite Turban ). Weaving looms, clothes, bedding, mats, tables, chairs, mineral pins for binding clothes and for adornment were found.
Earthware manufacture was advanced with them. We find plates, jugs, large copper basins, large water-jars pots and clay ovens (bread ovens that resemble those of present villages ). Excavations disclosed numerous family mausoleums containing remains of bodies next to which were found the traces of food, cooked or grilled mutton in earthenware utensils, and the remains of cereals, pomegranates and raisins.
It is clear that the religious belief has become now more evident and more refined than before as threefold statues were found in Jericho, which remind us of the trinity in Canaanite worship, namely the Fertility God, the Fertility Goddess, and the Enemy of the Fertility God. The statue of the Fertility Goddess was the statue of Goddess ‘ Anat known in the texts of Agarith where she seizes her breasts in order to give fertility and life to the land of the Canaanites. As far as the religious places are concerned there is a temple in Jericho containing a niche. The plan of its architecture was taken by the Jews in their synagogues. Then the Christians transferred it to their churches, later it appeared in Islamic mosques.
Jericho did not reach this level of civilization alone, many cities participated in it as ( Hazor-Na’anek and Megiddo ) on the northeast trade route, Shkeim, Beirut and Jerusalem and others from the categories of Canaanite cities were like Jericho, in progress, architecture, and power. The Bible described that when the Israelites said about the Canaanites that they were ” a people stronger than they and of greater stature with great cities pointing to heaven. You said to them : Do not fear them. God, your lord who leads you fights for you.”
Excavations at Salin revealed the remains of two Canaanite fortresses, one of which rose on one of the seven hills on which Jericho was built. WELCOME JERICHO
The fortress consisted of three stories reached by stairs to the towers which protected it. Excavations revealed, too, the remnants of Canaanite walls built of baked bricks over stone buttresses not fewer than three metres in width. Behind the wall there were furnished houses containing oil jars and earthenware inscribed with drawings of lions and gazelles. It was surrounded by fertile oases containing palm trees. That is why it is called ” the city of palm trees ” in Deuteronomy and in Judges and in the books of the Old Testament a lot is said about its prosperity brisk trade, numerous store shops, warehouses, animals for transport and consumption, vessels and utensils made of copper, iron, silver and gold.Jericho hotels_selections_discount_shortcodes city=”24203″ title=”Jericho city” paginate=true off_title=false type_selections=”popularity” number_results=”20″ subid=”Best Hotels” city_label=”Jericho” type_selections_label=”Popularity” link_without_dates=false
In the Bible there is a horrible picture of the treatment by Israelites of its inhabitants. we read in the Bible: “… so that the people went up into the city” (that is Jericho) “And they utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox, and sheep, and ass, with the edge of the sword, “and they bunt the city with all that was in it, “But all the silver, and gold, and vessels of brass and iron are consecrated unto the Lord: they shall come into the treasury of the Lord,”
Thus Jericho remained in this condition until it was repaired in the reign of Ahab the son of Ouri who was one of the kings of Israel (874-852 B.C.) Hiel the Bethelite fortified and repaired it four hundred years after its destruction There is a reference to that in the Bible, namely that Joshna ‘s curse befell Hiel.[/tg_accordion] [tg_accordion title=”Jericho after the Israelites” fa-arrow-circle-down appears that Jericho flourished in Ruman times as is shown in the remains of canals they dug and which can be seen at the River Kilt. In this period Jericho started to export dates. Jericho acquired a great importance in the time of Christ (may peace be upon him) as Jesus Christ Himself visited it and cured the eyes of two blind men, Bartimoeus and his friend. While He was in it He visited Zacchaeus the publican in his house. As Zacchaeus was of small statue he was forced to climb up a tree to see Jesus in the crowd. Jesus walked along the caravan route between Jericho and Jerusalem, which was infested with thieves and highwaymen.
In the reign of constantine the Great (306-337 A.D.), the founder of constantinople, Christianity was spread in Jericho by monks and hermits who lived in convents and churches which they constructed to become a centre for the propagation of Christianity. In 325 A.D. it became the centre of a bishopric.
The Roman Emperor Justinian (527-665 A.D.) constructed a church in it. It was in his reign that a road was built joining it with Petra. The caravans used to cross it in 3-4 days. Another road was built joining it with Bisan.
It appears that churches and convents became more numerous than they were in the seventh century. Arco Levaux said that three was a church at Al-Juljal, and another at the place where it is thought that Jesus took off His garment before His baptism. Another church was built inside a large convent under the name of St. John. It lies on a height overlooking the Jordan River. Jericho Hotels City
Nevertheless this did not prevent the deterioration, neglect and ruin that began to befall Jericho and the churches and convents round it, following the diversion of the caravan route. The hermits’ caves on the Mount of Temptation overlooking the city, remained an indication of the lofty spirit of the early and medieval centuries.
Finally Jericho entered into the rule of the Arab who occupied these countries in the seventh century A.D. In the dawn of Islam Jericho became the main city in the Ghaur inhabited by a folk from Qais, as well as a group from Quraish. During the time of the Prophet, may peace and prayer be upon him, he drove the Jews out of Madinah because of their tyranny, and they left for Syria, Adhru’at and Jericho. ‘Umar-Ibn-UL-Khattab may God be satisfied with him – expelled the last of them in his reign from Hijaz to Taima’ and Jericho.[/tg_accordion]
The amount of rainfall in the Jericho area is less than that of the surrounding mountains and the coastal regions, thus Jericho area relies entirely for drinking and irrigation on subterranean wells and springs originating in the distant mountains.
The area within the municipality limits is about 45 square kilometers, and the population of the city of Jericho alone is 17,000. If we include the population of the surrounding villages and refugee camps the number goes up to 25,000 inhabitants.
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A short drive north of Tel Al-Sultan, this is a spot not to be missed. The sprawling winter hunting retreat of Caliph Hisham Ibn Abd al-Malik must have been magnificent on its creation in the 8th century,