THE LOWLANDS

 

  TEL MARESHA- BETH GUVRIN

Maresha, Eleutheropolis, Tel Sandahannah is located 39km east from Ashkelon.

Excavations reveal Hellenistic inscriptions, decorated tombs, and one of the most beautiful mosaic pavement ever found in the area.

 

Maresha, which is identified to the biblical city of the same name, is mentioned among the Judea in Joshua 15:44 and in the book of Chronicles 11:8. In 587 B.C., the city was destroyed by the Babylonians.

 

During the Persian period, all of southern Judea was conquered by the Edomites, and therefore Maresha was part of Idumea. The Hasmonean king, John Hircanus, was the next king to rule over the city (125 B.C.). Anxious to establish Jewish communities in the area, he proceeded with a massive conversion of the Edomite.

 

Beth Guvrin prospered as a Jewish city until the big revolt. Afterwards, the Crusaders and the Muslims gained control of the area.

 

Suggested itinerary:

  • A visit of the archaeological site of Tel Maresha and Beth Guvrin. The visit includes ample archaeology, cave exploration, and many other natural resources.
  • Dig a day experience: participate yourself to some excavations.

 

   

MODI'IN- MINI ISRAEL  Modi'in, on the path of the Maccabees- Symbol of Jewish heroism and historical pride

The area of Modi'in is inseparable from the Feast of Chanukah and the Maccabees. It invites visitors to discover rich architectural remains from the late Jewish period of the 8th-7th century B.C.

 

Modi'in is replete with archeological sites and history. At this site, we find ancient Jewish and Roman ritual baths, remains of a synagogue dating from the first century BC, many ceramic objects dating from the Iron Age (from the time of the first kings of Israel), coins and tombs from the time of the Hasmoneans. There are also remains of tombs dating from the Hellenistic period.

The most emblematic among them are without a doubt, the tombs of the Maccabees, who rededicated the Temple of Jerusalem after the Greeks desecrated it.

The most famous of the tombs is Judah's, the hero of Chanukah-the Feast of Lights.

 

Each year a torch is lit in Modi'in and is carried to Jerusalem to commemorate this event. Modi'in embodies the symbol of the Hebrew resistance against the Seleucid Greeks during the 2nd century B.C.

 

Suggested itinerary:

  • A visit of the Maccabean archaeological site
  • A visit of Ayalon Park which is located on the area of the battle between the Maccabeem and the Greeks. Ayalon Park offers a pleasant walk with its Roman aqueduct that supplied the ancient city of Emmaus, located below.
  • Mini-Israel: An educating attraction park: All of Israel's sites in a blink of an eye.