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Jericho


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Jericho, believed to be the oldest town in the world, dating back more than 10,000 years, is also the lowest town on earth, 260 meters below sea level. It is known as the ‘City of Palms’ because of its famous year-round production of fresh fruits and vegetables due to the moderate climate. The area of Jericho contains some of the most important historical sites and is frequently mentioned in the Bible. The Old Testament’s Book of Joshua tells how Jericho was the first town captured by the Israelites after they laid siege to it and bought down the walls with the blare of their priests’ trumpets.
The domestication of plants and animals and the invention of pottery took place in ancient Jericho 1,000 years before similar developments in Mesopotamia and Egypt, while the walls and towers of Jericho preceded the pyramids of Egypt by 4,000 years.
Ancient Jericho, known as the Tel of Jericho, is situated on a mound overlooking the Jericho oasis. Excavations have uncovered 23 layers of ancient civilizations dating back to 9,000 BC. Many structures are still visible today, including the oldest known stairs in the world, the oldest wall and the massive defense tower – dating back to 7,000 BC.
Places to visit: Hisham’s Palace, of importance to historians as it is believed to be one of the earliest forms of Islamic architecture, from the 7th century, showing Persian and Byzantine influences; an ancient synagogue with mosaic floor from the 5th of 6th century.
Jericho, the City of Palms.