Givat Ram

Givat Ram

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Givat Ram
Givat Ram ( , ( pre 1948 :تلة الشيخ بدر) is a neighborhood in central Jerusalem, Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

. Many of Israel's most important national institutions are located in Givat Ram, among them the Knesset
Knesset
The Knesset is the unicameral legislature of Israel, located in Givat Ram, Jerusalem.-Role in Israeli Government :The legislative branch of the Israeli government, the Knesset passes all laws, elects the President and Prime Minister , approves the cabinet, and supervises the work of the government...

, the Israel Museum
Israel Museum
The Israel Museum, Jerusalem was founded in 1965 as Israel's national museum. It is situated on a hill in the Givat Ram neighborhood of Jerusalem, near the Bible Lands Museum, the Knesset, the Israeli Supreme Court, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem....

, the National Library of Israel and the Israeli Supreme Court.

Etymology


Ram is a Hebrew acronym for Rikuz Mefakdim – , lit. Officers assembly hill.

History



Before Israel's War of Independence in 1948, the area was known by the Arabs as Sheikh Badr
Sheikh Badr
Sheikh Badr was an Arab suburb village on a hilltop in west Jerusalem.-History:The village was depopulated during the 1948 Palestine War. According to British intelligence, the Haganah ordered the residents to leave on January 14, 1948. During the British Mandate of Palestine it was part of the...

. In December 1949, the Israeli government headed by David Ben-Gurion
David Ben-Gurion
' was the first Prime Minister of Israel.Ben-Gurion's passion for Zionism, which began early in life, led him to become a major Zionist leader and Executive Head of the World Zionist Organization in 1946...

, passed a resolution to build a government precinct in Jerusalem. Givat Ram, a hill in the west of the city, which had been an assembly point for the Gadna Youth Battalions
Gadna (Israel)
Gadna is an Israeli military program to prepare youth for their mandatory military service in the Israel Defense Forces or Border Police. A one week program of discipline and military learning run mostly by soldiers of the Nahal infantry brigade, as well as by soldiers recruited and trained...

, was chosen for this purpose. The topography of the site, made up of three ridges, meshed with the idea of establishing three clusters of buildings – the government precinct, a university campus and a museum.

The Knesset
Knesset
The Knesset is the unicameral legislature of Israel, located in Givat Ram, Jerusalem.-Role in Israeli Government :The legislative branch of the Israeli government, the Knesset passes all laws, elects the President and Prime Minister , approves the cabinet, and supervises the work of the government...

, Israeli government offices and the Israeli Supreme Court are located in Givat Ram, as are cultural landmarks such as the Israel Museum, the Bible Lands Museum
Bible Lands Museum
The Bible Lands Museum is a museum in Jerusalem, Israel, that explores the culture of the peoples mentioned in the Bible, among them the ancient Egyptians, Canaanites, Philistines, Arameans, Hittites, Elamites, Phoenicians and Persians...

, the Bloomfield Science Museum, a campus of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the National Library of Israel, and the Binyanei HaUma convention center.

The northern part of the neighborhood, between the convention center and the university, where the government ministries are clustered, is officially known as Kiryat HaLeom
Kiryat HaLeom
Kiryat HaLeom , also known as Kiryat HaUma , is the official label of a complex in central Jerusalem that includes Kiryat HaMemshala, the Knesset, Sacher Park, the Menorah garden, Wohl Rose Park and Binyanei HaUma...

. A new apartment project, Mishkenot Ha’uma, is being built in this area.The Wohl Rose Garden is also located in the neighborhood.

Archaeological findings


The first salvage excavation was conducted before Binyanei HaUma was built, in July- August 1949, by M. Avi-Yonah, who unearthed hewn installations, cisterns and pools of various sizes dating to the Herodian period, bricks and tiles bearing stamps of the Tenth Roman Legion
Legio X Fretensis
Legio X Fretensis was a Roman legion levied by Augustus Caesar in 41/40 BC to fight during the period of civil war that started the dissolution of the Roman Republic...

, and the remains of a monastery.

In May–June 1968, before a new hotel (then the Hilton) was built south of Binyanei HaUma, Avi-Yonah conducted a second salvage excavation. He found remains of an oval-shaped potter's kiln, a preparation area for clay, and a deep water cistern. The area had been covered by a thick layer of plaster upon which were found large mortaria
Mortaria
A mortarium was one of a class of Ancient Roman pottery kitchen vessels. They are "hemispherical or conical bowls, commonly with heavy flanges", and with coarse sand or grit embedded into the internal surface. They were used for pounding or mixing foods and are an important indicator of the spread...

 and many bricks, some bearing stamps of the Tenth Legion.

During the work on a new international convention center east of Binyanei HaUma, a large salvage excavation was conducted in April–September 1992 on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority
Israel Antiquities Authority
The Israel Antiquities Authority is an independent Israeli governmental authority responsible for enforcing the 1978 Law of Antiquities. The IAA regulates excavation and conservation, and promotes research...

, but roughly 60% of the parking lot area had already been dug up by bulldozers.

In July 1993, a small excavation in the northwestern corner dismantled kilns of the Tenth Legion and lifted a mosaic
Mosaic
Mosaic is the art of creating images with an assemblage of small pieces of colored glass, stone, or other materials. It may be a technique of decorative art, an aspect of interior decoration, or of cultural and spiritual significance as in a cathedral...

 floor of the Byzantine
Byzantine
Byzantine usually refers to the Roman Empire during the Middle Ages.Byzantine may also refer to:* A citizen of the Byzantine Empire, or native Greek during the Middle Ages...

period.