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Haluza

Haluza

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Haluza also known as Halasa, Chellous (Χελλοὺς), al-Khalasa
Al-Khalasa
Al-Khalasa was a Palestinian village, located 23 kilometers southwest of the city of Beersheba. The village was originally founded by the Nabateans under the name of "al-Khalus", and then "Elusa" under the Byzantines where it served an administrative center in the Negev Desert...

and Elusa, is a city in the Negev
Negev
The Negev is a desert and semidesert region of southern Israel. The Arabs, including the native Bedouin population of the region, refer to the desert as al-Naqab. The origin of the word Neghebh is from the Hebrew root denoting 'dry'...

, Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

, that was once part of the Nabataean Incense Route. Due to this historic importance, UNESCO
UNESCO
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

 have granted four cities in the Negev the joint status of a World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site
A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place that is listed by the UNESCO as of special cultural or physical significance...

; Haluza is one of these, the others being Mamshit
Mamshit
Mamshit is the Nabataean city of Memphis. In the Nabataean period, Mamshit was an important station on Incense Road, running from the Idumean Mountains, through the Arabah and Ma'ale Akrabim, and on to Beer-Sheva or to Hebron and Jerusalem. The city covers and is the smallest but best restored...

, Avdat
Avdat
Avdat , also known as Ovdat or Obodat was the most important historic city on the Incense Route after Petra between the 7th and the 1st centuries BCE. It was inhabited by Nabataeans, Romans and Byzantines. It was a seasonal camping ground for Nabataean caravans travelling along the early Petra -...

, Shivta
Shivta
Shivta or Sobota or Subeitah or Subaytah , is an archaeological site in the Negev Desert of Israel, east of Nitzana. It is close to the Israeli Artillery Corps main training facility....

. The city is one of the two main potential locations for the Biblical city of Ziklag
Ziklag
Ziklag is the Biblical name of a town that was located in the Negev region in the south of what was the Kingdom of Judah.-Identification:The exact location of Ziklag has not been identified with any certainty....

, Ziklag being considered in this case a corruption of Halusah, meaning fortress.

The ruins of the city are at al-Khalasa
Al-Khalasa
Al-Khalasa was a Palestinian village, located 23 kilometers southwest of the city of Beersheba. The village was originally founded by the Nabateans under the name of "al-Khalus", and then "Elusa" under the Byzantines where it served an administrative center in the Negev Desert...

 (Khalasah), about nineteen miles southwest of Beersheba
Beersheba
Beersheba is the largest city in the Negev desert of southern Israel. Often referred to as the "Capital of the Negev", it is the seventh-largest city in Israel with a population of 194,300....

, in a large plain within modern Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

. Many inscriptions have been found there. In the vicinity, according to the Targum
Targum
Taekwondo is a Korean martial art and the national sport of South Korea. In Korean, tae means "to strike or break with foot"; kwon means "to strike or break with fist"; and do means "way", "method", or "path"...

s, was the desert of Sur with the well at which the angel found Hagar
Hagar (Bible)
Hagar , according to the Abrahamic faiths, was the second wife of Abraham, and the mother of his first son, Ishmael. Her story is recorded in the Book of Genesis, mentioned in Hadith, and alluded to in the Qur'an...

 (Genesis 16:7). (See Revue Biblique, 1906, 597).

Archaeological
Archaeology
Archaeology, or archeology , is the study of human society, primarily through the recovery and analysis of the material culture and environmental data that they have left behind, which includes artifacts, architecture, biofacts and cultural landscapes...

 surveys of the area are partly hampered by the presence of shifting sands
Shifting Sands
Shifting Sands can refer to:*The Shifting Sands, a book in the Deltora Quest series*Shifting Sands , a 1918 film*Shifting Sands, a 1957 episode of The Goon Show*Forms of equivocation, a logical fallacy...

 around the city, though Nabataean era streets have been found, along with two churches, a theatre, winepress, and tower. Unlike the other cities on the Incense route, Haluza has been excavated without sufficient care to return stones to their original places, compromising future excavation, and the site is generally badly looked after.

History


The city is mentioned under the name 'Chellous' (Χελλοὺς) in the Greek text of Judith, i, 9. It is also mentioned by Ptolemy
Ptolemy
Claudius Ptolemy , was a Roman citizen of Egypt who wrote in Greek. He was a mathematician, astronomer, geographer, astrologer, and poet of a single epigram in the Greek Anthology. He lived in Egypt under Roman rule, and is believed to have been born in the town of Ptolemais Hermiou in the...

 as being in Idumaea, Peutinger's Table, Stephanus Byzantius (as being formerly in the province of Arabia Petraea
Arabia Petraea
Arabia Petraea, also called Provincia Arabia or simply Arabia, was a frontier province of the Roman Empire beginning in the 2nd century; it consisted of the former Nabataean kingdom in modern Jordan, southern modern Syria, the Sinai Peninsula and northwestern Saudi Arabia. Its capital was Petra...

, now in Palaestina Tertia), Jerome
Jerome
Saint Jerome was a Roman Christian priest, confessor, theologian and historian, and who became a Doctor of the Church. He was the son of Eusebius, of the city of Stridon, which was on the border of Dalmatia and Pannonia...

, the pilgrim Theodosius, Antoninus of Piacenza
Antoninus of Piacenza
The sixth-century pilgrim Antoninus of Piacenza, or the Anonymous Pilgrim of Piacenza, who described the holy places of Jerusalem in the 570s is confused often with Saint Antoninus of Piacenza, who is venerated as a saint and martyr in the Roman Catholic Church, with a feast day of 13 November in...

, and Joannes Moschus
Joannes Moschus
-Biography:He was born about 550 probably at Damascus. He was given the epithet "ὁ ἐγκρατής" . He lived successively with the monks at the monastery of St. Theodosius in Jerusalem, among the hermits in the Jordan Valley, and in the New Lavra of St...

.

Jerome's life of St. Hilarion says that, in the fourth century, there was at Elusa a great temple of Aphrodite
Aphrodite
Aphrodite is the Greek goddess of love, beauty, pleasure, and procreation.Her Roman equivalent is the goddess .Historically, her cult in Greece was imported from, or influenced by, the cult of Astarte in Phoenicia....

.

Ecclesiastical history


Hilarion is supposed to have introduced Christianity to Elusa in the fourth century.

Early in the following century, a Bishop of Elusa, after redeeming the son of Nilus of Sinai
Nilus of Sinai
Saint Nilus the Elder, of Sinai , was one of the many disciples and fervent defenders of St. John Chrysostom.-Life:We know him first as a layman, married, with two sons...

, who had been carried off from Mount Sinai
Mount Sinai
Mount Sinai , also known as Mount Horeb, Mount Musa, Gabal Musa , Jabal Musa meaning "Moses' Mountain", is a mountain near Saint Catherine in the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt. A mountain called Mount Sinai is mentioned many times in the Book of Exodus in the Torah and the Bible as well as the Quran...

 by the Arabs, ordained both him and his father. Other bishops known are Theodulus, 431; Aretas, 451; Peter, 518; and Zenobius, 536.

Elusa remains a Roman Catholic titular see
Titular see
A titular see in various churches is an episcopal see of a former diocese that no longer functions, sometimes called a "dead diocese". The ordinary or hierarch of such a see may be styled a "titular bishop", "titular metropolitan", or "titular archbishop"....

 in the ecclesiastical province
Ecclesiastical Province
An ecclesiastical province is a large jurisdiction of religious government, so named by analogy with a secular province, existing in certain hierarchical Christian churches, especially in the Catholic Church and Orthodox Churches and in the Anglican Communion...

 of Palaestina Tertia, suffragan of the Archbishopric of Petra.

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