Excavations of the ancient city of Jericho
Based on “dawn of mankind” and is considered one of the oldest fortified cities, Jericho was always attracted to the king’s Palace and the warm climate and the presence of groundwater. in some places, leading to surface sources, as well as an abundance of streams cascading down from the surrounding mountains, especially in winter. The climate of the Jericho oasis, associated with its exceptional geographic location is one of the most low-lying cities in the world, located at 250 meters below sea level (below is only newe Zohar ), which leads to different distant areas, atmospheric pressure, saturated soils, and generally calm weather, as the main winds pass over the lowlands. In ancient times there was grown incense and spices (due to climatic characteristics, it was the only place in the area where we could grow this kind of culture) – according to one version, due to this the city called Jericho – from “Rei”, which translates as “smell”. According to another version, the name came from “yareah”, which means “moon” or “month”.
Jericho, the richness of its history which can overshadow even important cities of Israel, such as Haifa, Caesarea, Akko. always attracted many tourists coming here to worship as Jewish Holy sites and Christian: here is the famous Fig tree, known as the “Zacchaeus tree”, nanananadana on a plot of land donated by the autonomy of the Russian Federation, here is the new Testament “Mount of Temptation” or “Mountain forty days” – the place where Jesus during the forty days was successfully tempted by the Devil – now there is a monastery of the Temptation. Such shrines can not boast of any Caesarea. neither acre nor a lot of other Israeli cities. However, since the beginning of the intifada al Aqsa, for a long time the entry into the territory of the town for Israelis and tourists were strictly prohibited for their safety. And only recently, despite the still existing ban, giving Israeli forces permission to enter the tour groups, generally providing support. However, given the somewhat tense situation in the region, the number of arriving tourists and pilgrims, considerably higher than the interest drawn to a popular Rally Museum in Caesarea .
From the point of view of the majority of historians and archaeologists, Jericho is a connecting link between, not always coinciding time periods in the development history of the region in General and Jews in particular. In plus to this, the eternal skepticism of the scientific of souls, could not be subjected to doubt and not require tangible proof, to the miraculous outcome of the battle at Jericho. described in the old Testament and the Tanakh, when the walls of the city fell, after the Israeli war, together with his clergy, semidi marched around the city, shouting militant slogans and trumpeting of the shofar (the special pipe used by priests during certain services).
The first attempts to find confirmation of the existence of ancient Jericho were made in the middle years of the nineteenth century, when historians and archaeologists, Robinson and Tobler, began excavations of the hill, where, in their opinion, under the cultural layers had to hide the ancient city. However, their efforts did not bring them success, and excavations were put on hold until 1868, when the next attempt, way too ineffective, has taken Warren. The same hill, in 1894 attracted the attention of archaeologists Blythe, once again, put forward the assumption that ancient Jericho to be in the depths of this hill, if it even ever existed. And only in 1899, while studying the surface of the hill, German Sellin found the remains of Canaanite pottery, and making conclusions about the validity of the claims of their predecessors, and began to prepare a major project for the disclosure of historical evidence.
In 1904 the Germans Tarsem Hellerem and found new confirmation of being in the bowels of the elliptical hill not far from Jerusalem and the village of Erich the ancient city of Jericho. However, after its discoverer took Sellin in 1907, when the labors of the expedition have been extracted materials, fully confirming all dreams of contemporary archaeology. Then, for the first time have been exposed from under layers of earth the ancient buildings and part of a wall of fortifications with towers, which surrounded the city for protection, consisting of five rows of masonry and additional raw masonry, height of three meters. And in 1908, with the support of the Society of East Germany, organized full-scale excavations under the direction Sellin, Watzinger and Langen-EGGER with accessions in 1909 Schulze and Nelleke.
Gradually and reluctantly, began to open the eyes of archaeologists the old city that survived many wars, several times almost to destroy the base and movable to the sides, in times of recovery. In accordance with the Biblical narrative after the fall of the city, Joshua placed a curse on him, and forbade to restore it to the Jews. Presumably, this explains the “movement” of the city in the countryside – today, there are “three of Jericho”: the Ancient Jericho, new Testament Jericho, and Modern Jericho, is somewhat different, in their locations.
While continuing the excavation, scientists found the juxtaposition of twenty-three cultural layers in the “Jericho Hill”. Fully opened the outer city wall, a width of three meters, and later opened a second thick wall half a meter. After some time on the hillside on the North side was dug out another chunk of wall, seven meters in height with a basement of stone and masonry raw. The Western side of the mound revealed a stone stair, built in the period subsequent to the destruction of the walls and under the stairs – the house of the earlier period.
Remarkable is the conclusion of scientists about the cause of the fall of the walls of Jericho in battle. In accordance with Scripture wall fell, however, many questioned this claim, based on neimoverno the fall of the wall three to seven meter high and three-meter width from the sound vibrations produced by the shofar and shouting, fighting Israeli wars. However, meticulously studying the walls found, archaeologists concluded that, most likely Jericho pipe is a remnant of ancient knowledge, lost in our days. Sellin’s work has shown that the wall actually fell, and by the nature of the cracks, at a time and exactly as described in the Bible. For decades delayed historical argument about how and when collapsed the walls of Jericho. One suggestion that received the maximum number of followers indicates the turn of the fourteenth and thirteenth centuries BC.