Summer shorts #2 Tel Maresha / Beit Jibrin : a microcosm of the land of caves


Manage episode 297713736 series 2830217
By Kristel. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

If you heard episode 2 of season 1 then you know I am obsessed with the history of caves in Palestine. The caves in the mountains were formed by a natural process due to the effect of rain on the limestone that created natural caves. But in this episode you can learn about another type of caves that can be found in the area to the west of Hebron, west of the green line, where over 3.500 man-made caves were found that date back to more than 2000 years ago.
The caves were made in the soft chalk layer under a very hard layer called nari. In this hard surface rock they made an opening and through a shaft they would dig down into the softer chalk, forming a bell-shaped cave. The caves had very many different purposes, for example storage of water, grains, olive presses, ritual baths, columbaria (for pigeons) and burial caves.
Today you can visit some of these caves in the National Park. Other interesting relics are the Roman amphitheater, the Crusader tower and the remains of a Crusader church.
There were two ancient cities here, Maresha and Bet Guvrin. The archaeological site is now UNESCO world heritage.
Around the Crusader tower a Palestinian town developed that was called Beit Jibrin. The inhabitants were forcibly displaced by the Zionist militias in 1948. Most of the refugees ended up in Fawwar camp and in Beit Jibrin refugee camp. The latter one in Bethlehem is also known as Azza refugee camp, named after the biggest family clan.
For the blog entry with photos you can go to:
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