Jericho

Jericho

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Jericho'
Start a new discussion about 'Jericho'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
Jericho; jeʁiˈħo is a city located near the Jordan River in the West Bank
West Bank
The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

 of the Palestinian territories
Palestinian territories
The Palestinian territories comprise the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Since the Palestinian Declaration of Independence in 1988, the region is today recognized by three-quarters of the world's countries as the State of Palestine or simply Palestine, although this status is not recognized by the...

. It is the capital of the Jericho Governorate
Jericho Governorate
The Jericho Governorate is one of 16 Governorates of the Palestinian National Authority within the Palestinian territories. It is located along the eastern areas of the West Bank, along the northern Dead Sea and southern Jordan River valley bordering Jordan...

 and has a population of more than 20,000. Situated well below sea level on an east-west route 16 kilometres (10 mi) north of the Dead Sea
Dead Sea
The Dead Sea , also called the Salt Sea, is a salt lake bordering Jordan to the east and Israel and the West Bank to the west. Its surface and shores are below sea level, the lowest elevation on the Earth's surface. The Dead Sea is deep, the deepest hypersaline lake in the world...

, Jericho is the lowest permanently inhabited site on earth. It is also believed to be the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world.

Described in the Old Testament
Old Testament
The Old Testament, of which Christians hold different views, is a Christian term for the religious writings of ancient Israel held sacred and inspired by Christians which overlaps with the 24-book canon of the Masoretic Text of Judaism...

 as the "City of Palm Trees", copious springs in and around Jericho have made it an attractive site for human habitation for thousands of years. It is known in Judeo-Christian
Judeo-Christian
Judeo-Christian is a term used in the United States since the 1940s to refer to standards of ethics said to be held in common by Judaism and Christianity, for example the Ten Commandments...

 tradition as the place of the Israelites' return from bondage in Egypt
Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt was an ancient civilization of Northeastern Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River in what is now the modern country of Egypt. Egyptian civilization coalesced around 3150 BC with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under the first pharaoh...

, led by Joshua
Joshua
Joshua , is a minor figure in the Torah, being one of the spies for Israel and in few passages as Moses's assistant. He turns to be the central character in the Hebrew Bible's Book of Joshua...

, the successor to Moses
Moses
Moses was, according to the Hebrew Bible and Qur'an, a religious leader, lawgiver and prophet, to whom the authorship of the Torah is traditionally attributed...

. Archaeologists
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...

 have unearthed the remains of more than 20 successive settlements in Jericho, the first of which dates back 11,000 years (9000 BCE), almost to the very beginning of the Holocene
Holocene
The Holocene is a geological epoch which began at the end of the Pleistocene and continues to the present. The Holocene is part of the Quaternary period. Its name comes from the Greek words and , meaning "entirely recent"...

 epoch of the Earth's history.

Etymology


Jericho's Arabic name, , means "fragrant" and derives from the Canaanite word Reaẖ, of the same meaning. Jericho's name in Hebrew, , is also thought to derive from that root, though an alternative theory holds that it is derived from the word meaning "moon" (Yareaẖ) in Canaanite, since the city was an early centre of worship for lunar
Moon
The Moon is Earth's only known natural satellite,There are a number of near-Earth asteroids including 3753 Cruithne that are co-orbital with Earth: their orbits bring them close to Earth for periods of time but then alter in the long term . These are quasi-satellites and not true moons. For more...

 deities
Deity
A deity is a recognized preternatural or supernatural immortal being, who may be thought of as holy, divine, or sacred, held in high regard, and respected by believers....

.

Natufian Hunter-Gatherers c. 10,000 BCE



Jericho is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, with evidence of settlement dating back to 9000 BCE. During the Younger Dryas
Younger Dryas
The Younger Dryas stadial, also referred to as the Big Freeze, was a geologically brief period of cold climatic conditions and drought between approximately 12.8 and 11.5 ka BP, or 12,800 and 11,500 years before present...

 period of cold and drought, permanent habitation of any one location was not possible. However, the spring at what would become Jericho was a popular camping ground for Natufian hunter-gatherer groups, who left a scattering of crescent microlith tools behind them. Around 9600 the droughts and cold of the Younger Dryas Stadial had come to an end, making it possible for Natufian groups to extend the duration of their stay, eventually leading to year round habitation and permanent settlement.

Pre-Pottery Neolithic A, c. 9600 BCE


The first permanent settlement was built near the Ein as-Sultan
Ein as-Sultan
ʿEin as-Sulṭān alsoʿAin Sulṭān Camp is a village and Palestinian refugee camp in the Jericho Governorate in the eastern West Bank situated in the Jordan Valley, located 1 kilometers north-west of Jericho near the spring ʿEin as-Sulṭān. ʿEin as-Sulṭān had a population of over 1,469 inhabitants in...

 spring between 10000 and 9000 BCE. As the world warmed, a new culture based on agriculture and sedentary dwelling emerged, which archaeologists have termed "Pre-Pottery Neolithic A
Pre-Pottery Neolithic A
Pre-Pottery Neolithic A denotes the first stage in early Levantine Neolithic culture, dating around 9500 to 8500 BC. Archaeological remains are located in the Levantine and upper Mesopotamian region of the Fertile Crescent...

" (abbreviated as PPNA). PPNA villages are characterized by small circular dwellings, burials of the dead within the floors of buildings, reliance on hunting wild game, the cultivation of wild or domestic cereals, and no use of pottery. At Jericho, circular dwellings were built of clay and straw bricks left to dry in the sun, which were plastered together with a mud mortar. Each house measured about 5 metres across, and was roofed with mud-smeared brush. Hearths were located within and outside the homes.

By about 9400 BCE the town had grown to more than 70 dwellings, and was home to over 1000 people. The most striking aspect of this early town was a massive stone wall over 3.6 metres high, and 1.8 metres wide at the base. Inside this wall was a tower over 3.6 metres high, contained an internal staircase with 22 stone steps. The wall and tower were unprecedented in human history, and would have taken a hundred men more than a hundred days to construct it. The use of this wall and tower was likely for defence against flood water and mud flows from the nearby Jordan river.

Later occupation


After a few centuries it was abandoned for a second settlement, established in 6800 BCE, perhaps by an invading people who absorbed the original inhabitants into their dominant culture. Artifacts dating from this period include ten skulls, plastered and painted so as to reconstitute the individuals' features. These represent the first example of portrait
Portrait
thumb|250px|right|Portrait of [[Thomas Jefferson]] by [[Rembrandt Peale]], 1805. [[New-York Historical Society]].A portrait is a painting, photograph, sculpture, or other artistic representation of a person, in which the face and its expression is predominant. The intent is to display the likeness,...

ure in art history
Art history
Art history has historically been understood as the academic study of objects of art in their historical development and stylistic contexts, i.e. genre, design, format, and style...

, and it is thought that they were kept in people's homes while the bodies were buried. This was followed by a succession of settlements from 4500 BCE onward, the largest being constructed in 2600 BCE.

Archaeological evidence indicates that in the latter half of the Middle Bronze Age
Bronze Age
The Bronze Age is a period characterized by the use of copper and its alloy bronze as the chief hard materials in the manufacture of some implements and weapons. Chronologically, it stands between the Stone Age and Iron Age...

 (circa 1700 BCE) the city enjoyed some prosperity, its walls having been strengthened and expanded. According to carbon dating the Canaanite city (Jericho City IV) was destroyed between 1617 and 1530, but rounded as c.1550. The site remained uninhabited until the city was refounded in the 9th century BCE.

In the 8th century BCE the Assyrians invaded from the north, followed by the Babylonians, and Jericho was depopulated between 586 and 538 BCE, the period of the Jewish exile
Babylonian captivity
The Babylonian captivity was the period in Jewish history during which the Jews of the ancient Kingdom of Judah were captives in Babylon—conventionally 587–538 BCE....

 to Babylon. Cyrus the Great
Cyrus the Great
Cyrus II of Persia , commonly known as Cyrus the Great, also known as Cyrus the Elder, was the founder of the Achaemenid Empire. Under his rule, the empire embraced all the previous civilized states of the ancient Near East, expanded vastly and eventually conquered most of Southwest Asia and much...

, the Persian king, refounded the city one mile southeast of its historic site at the mound of Tell es-Sultan and returned the Jewish exiles after conquering Babylon
Babylon
Babylon was an Akkadian city-state of ancient Mesopotamia, the remains of which are found in present-day Al Hillah, Babil Province, Iraq, about 85 kilometers south of Baghdad...

 in 539 BCE.

Classical antiquity


Jericho went from being an administrative centre under Persian rule to serving as the private estate of Alexander the Great between 336 and 323 BCE after his conquest of the region. In the middle of the 2nd century BCE Jericho was under Hellenistic rule, and the Syrian General Bacchides built a number of forts to strengthen the defences of the area around Jericho against invasion by the Macabees (1 Macc 9:50). One of these forts, built at the entrance to Wadi Qelt
Wadi Qelt
Wadi Qelt or Nahal Prat is a valley or stream running west to east across the Judean desert in the West Bank, originating near Jerusalem and terminating near Jericho, near the Dead Sea...

, was later refortified by Herod the Great
Herod the Great
Herod , also known as Herod the Great , was a Roman client king of Judea. His epithet of "the Great" is widely disputed as he is described as "a madman who murdered his own family and a great many rabbis." He is also known for his colossal building projects in Jerusalem and elsewhere, including his...

, who named it Kypros after his mother.

Herod originally leased Jericho from Cleopatra after Mark Antony
Mark Antony
Marcus Antonius , known in English as Mark Antony, was a Roman politician and general. As a military commander and administrator, he was an important supporter and loyal friend of his mother's cousin Julius Caesar...

 gave it to her as a gift. After their joint suicide in 30 BCE Octavian assumed control of the Roman Empire and granted Herod free rein over Jericho. Herod’s rule oversaw the construction of a hippodrome
Hippodrome
A hippodrome was a Greek stadium for horse racing and chariot racing. The name is derived from the Greek words "hippos and "dromos"...

-theatre (Tel es-Samrat) to entertain his guests and new aqueduct
Aqueduct
An aqueduct is a water supply or navigable channel constructed to convey water. In modern engineering, the term is used for any system of pipes, ditches, canals, tunnels, and other structures used for this purpose....

s to irrigate the area below the cliffs and reach his winter palace built at the site of Tulul al-Alaiq.

The dramatic murder of Aristobulus III in a swimming pool in Jericho, as told by the Roman Jewish historian Josephus
Josephus
Titus Flavius Josephus , also called Joseph ben Matityahu , was a 1st-century Romano-Jewish historian and hagiographer of priestly and royal ancestry who recorded Jewish history, with special emphasis on the 1st century AD and the First Jewish–Roman War, which resulted in the Destruction of...

, took place during a banquet organized by Herod's Hasmonean mother-in-law. After the construction of its palaces the city had functioned not only as an agricultural center and as a crossroad but as a winter resort for Jerusalem's aristocracy.

Herod was succeeded by his son, Archelus, who built an adjacent village in his name, Archelais, to house workers for his date plantation (Khirbet al-Beiyudat). First-century Jericho is described in Strabo
Strabo
Strabo, also written Strabon was a Greek historian, geographer and philosopher.-Life:Strabo was born to an affluent family from Amaseia in Pontus , a city which he said was situated the approximate equivalent of 75 km from the Black Sea...

's Geography as follows:

The rock-cut tombs of a Herodian and Hasmonean era cemetery lie in the lowest part of the cliffs between Nuseib al-Aweishireh and Jebel Quruntul in Jericho and were used between 100 BCE and 68 CE.

The Christian Gospels state that Jesus
Jesus
Jesus of Nazareth , commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity...

 passed through Jericho where he healed one or two blind beggars and inspired a local chief tax-collector named Zacchaeus
Zacchaeus
Zacchaeus , according to chapter 19 of the gospel of Luke, was a superintendent of customs; a chief tax-gatherer at Jericho...

 to repent of his dishonest practices. The road between Jerusalem and Jericho is the setting for the Parable of the Good Samaritan
Parable of the Good Samaritan
The parable of the Good Samaritan is a parable told by Jesus and is mentioned in only one of the Canonical gospels. According to the Gospel of Luke a traveller is beaten, robbed, and left half dead along the road. First a priest and then a Levite come by, but both avoid the man. Finally, a...



After the fall of Jerusalem to Vespasian's armies in 70 CE, Jericho declined rapidly, and by 100 CE it was but a small Roman garrison town. A fort was built there in 130 and played a role in putting down the Bar Kochba revolt in 133. Accounts of Jericho by a Christian pilgrim
Pilgrim
A pilgrim is a traveler who is on a journey to a holy place. Typically, this is a physical journeying to some place of special significance to the adherent of a particular religious belief system...

 are given in 333. Shortly thereafter the built-up area of the town was abandoned and a Byzantine Jericho, Ericha, was built a mile ( km) to the east, around which the modern town is centred. Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 took hold in the city during the Byzantine
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

 era and the area was heavily populated. A number of monasteries and churches were built, including St George of Koziba in 340 CE and a domed church dedicated to Saint Eliseus
Elisha
Elisha is a prophet mentioned in the Hebrew Bible and the Qur'an. His name is commonly transliterated into English as Elisha via Hebrew, Eliseus via Greek and Latin, or Alyasa via Arabic.-Biblical biography:...

. At least two synagogue
Synagogue
A synagogue is a Jewish house of prayer. This use of the Greek term synagogue originates in the Septuagint where it sometimes translates the Hebrew word for assembly, kahal...

s were also built in the 6th century CE. The monasteries were abandoned after the Persian invasion of 614.

Arab caliphate period





Jericho, by now "Ariha", fell under the province (jund) "al-Filastin"
Jund Filastin
Jund Filastin was one of several sub-provinces of the Ummayad and Abbasid Caliphate province of Syria, organized soon after the Muslim conquest of Syria in the seventh century. According to al-Biladhuri, the main towns in the district at its capture by the Rashidun Caliphate, were Gaza, Sebastiya,...

. The Arab Muslim historian Musa b. 'Uqba (d. 141 / 758) recorded that caliph
Caliph
The Caliph is the head of state in a Caliphate, and the title for the ruler of the Islamic Ummah, an Islamic community ruled by the Shari'ah. It is a transcribed version of the Arabic word   which means "successor" or "representative"...

 'Umar exiled the Jews and Christians of Khaybar into Jericho (and Tayma).

By 659 that province had come under the control of Mu'awiya, founder of the Umayyads as a dynasty. That year, an earthquake struck Jericho and destroyed nearly all of it. A decade later the pilgrim Arculf visited Jericho and found it a ruin, all its "miserable Canaanite" inhabitants now dispersed in shantytowns around the Dead Sea shore.

The tenth caliph of that dynasty, Hisham ibn Abd al-Malik
Hisham ibn Abd al-Malik
Hisham ibn Abd al-Malik 10th Umayyad caliph who ruled from 723 until his death in 743. When he was born in 691 his mother named him after her father....

, built a palatial complex known as Khirbet al-Mafjar
Hisham's Palace
Hisham's Palace is the archaeological remains of an Umayyad winter palace located five km north of Jericho in the West Bank.-Construction and layout:...

 about one mile north of Tell as-Sultan in 743, and two mosques, a courtyard, mosaics, and other items from it can still be seen in situ today, despite its having been partially destroyed in an earthquake in 747.

Umayyad rule ended in 750 and was followed by the Arab
Arab
Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity primarily living in the Arab world, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa. They are identified as such on one or more of genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing...

 caliphates of the Abbasid
Abbasid
The Abbasid Caliphate or, more simply, the Abbasids , was the third of the Islamic caliphates. It was ruled by the Abbasid dynasty of caliphs, who built their capital in Baghdad after overthrowing the Umayyad caliphate from all but the al-Andalus region....

 and Fatimid
Fatimid
The Fatimid Islamic Caliphate or al-Fāṭimiyyūn was a Berber Shia Muslim caliphate first centered in Tunisia and later in Egypt that ruled over varying areas of the Maghreb, Sudan, Sicily, the Levant, and Hijaz from 5 January 909 to 1171.The caliphate was ruled by the Fatimids, who established the...

 dynasties. Irrigated agriculture was developed under Islamic rule, reaffirming Jericho's reputation as a fertile "City of the Palms". Al-Maqdisi
Al-Muqaddasi
Muhammad ibn Ahmad Shams al-Din Al-Muqaddasi , also transliterated as Al-Maqdisi and el-Mukaddasi, was a medieval Arab geographer, author of Ahsan at-Taqasim fi Ma`rifat il-Aqalim .-Biography:Al-Muqaddasi, "the Hierosolomite" was born in Jerusalem in 946 AD...

, the Arab geographer, wrote in 985 that, "the water of Jericho is held to be the highest and best in all Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

. Banana
Banana
Banana is the common name for herbaceous plants of the genus Musa and for the fruit they produce. Bananas come in a variety of sizes and colors when ripe, including yellow, purple, and red....

s are plentiful, also dates and flowers of fragrant odor." Jericho is also referred to by him as one of the principal cities of Jund Filastin
Jund Filastin
Jund Filastin was one of several sub-provinces of the Ummayad and Abbasid Caliphate province of Syria, organized soon after the Muslim conquest of Syria in the seventh century. According to al-Biladhuri, the main towns in the district at its capture by the Rashidun Caliphate, were Gaza, Sebastiya,...

.

The city flourished until 1071 and the invasion of the Seljuk Turks
Great Seljuq Empire
The Great Seljuq Empire was a medieval Persianate, Turko-Persian Sunni Muslim empire, originating from the Qynyq branch of Oghuz Turks. The Seljuq Empire controlled a vast area stretching from the Hindu Kush to eastern Anatolia and from Central Asia to the Persian Gulf...

, followed by the upheavals of the Crusades
Crusades
The Crusades were a series of religious wars, blessed by the Pope and the Catholic Church with the main goal of restoring Christian access to the holy places in and near Jerusalem...

. In 1179, the Crusaders rebuilt the Monastery of St. George of Koziba, at its original site six miles from the center of town. They also built another two churches and a monastery dedicated to John the Baptist
John the Baptist
John the Baptist was an itinerant preacher and a major religious figure mentioned in the Canonical gospels. He is described in the Gospel of Luke as a relative of Jesus, who led a movement of baptism at the Jordan River...

, and are credited with introducing sugarcane
Sugarcane
Sugarcane refers to any of six to 37 species of tall perennial grasses of the genus Saccharum . Native to the warm temperate to tropical regions of South Asia, they have stout, jointed, fibrous stalks that are rich in sugar, and measure two to six metres tall...

 production to the city. In 1187, the Crusaders were evicted by the Ayyubid forces of Saladin
Saladin
Ṣalāḥ ad-Dīn Yūsuf ibn Ayyūb , better known in the Western world as Saladin, was an Arabized Kurdish Muslim, who became the first Sultan of Egypt and Syria, and founded the Ayyubid dynasty. He led Muslim and Arab opposition to the Franks and other European Crusaders in the Levant...

 after their victory in the Battle of Hattin
Battle of Hattin
The Battle of Hattin took place on Saturday, July 4, 1187, between the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem and the forces of the Ayyubid dynasty....

, and the town slowly went into decline.

In 1226, Arab geographer Yaqut al-Hamawi
Yaqut al-Hamawi
Yāqūt ibn-'Abdullah al-Rūmī al-Hamawī) was an Islamic biographer and geographer renowned for his encyclopedic writings on the Muslim world. "al-Rumi" refers to his Greek descent; "al-Hamawi" means that he is from Hama, Syria, and ibn-Abdullah is a reference to his father's name, Abdullah...

 said of Jericho, "it has many palm trees, also sugarcane in quantities, and bananas. The best of all the sugar in the Ghaur land is made here." In the 14th century, Abu al-Fida writes there are sulfur
Sulfur
Sulfur or sulphur is the chemical element with atomic number 16. In the periodic table it is represented by the symbol S. It is an abundant, multivalent non-metal. Under normal conditions, sulfur atoms form cyclic octatomic molecules with chemical formula S8. Elemental sulfur is a bright yellow...

 mines in Jericho, "the only ones in Palestine."

Ottoman period (1517–1918)


In the late years of Ottoman rule, Jericho formed part of the waqf
Waqf
A waqf also spelled wakf formally known as wakf-alal-aulad is an inalienable religious endowment in Islamic law, typically denoting a building or plot of land for Muslim religious or charitable purposes. The donated assets are held by a charitable trust...

 and imerat
Imaret
An imaret is one of a few names used to identify the Ottoman soup kitchens built throughout the Ottoman Empire from the 14th into the 19th century. These public kitchens were often part of a larger complex known as a Waqf, which could include hospices, mosques, caravanserais and colleges...

 of Jerusalem. The villagers processed indigo
Indigo
Indigo is a color named after the purple dye derived from the plant Indigofera tinctoria and related species. The color is placed on the electromagnetic spectrum between about 420 and 450 nm in wavelength, placing it between blue and violet...

 as one source of revenue, using a cauldron specifically for this purpose that was loaned to them by the Ottoman authorities in Jerusalem. For most of the Ottoman period, Jericho was a small village of farmers susceptible to attacks by Bedouin
Bedouin
The Bedouin are a part of a predominantly desert-dwelling Arab ethnic group traditionally divided into tribes or clans, known in Arabic as ..-Etymology:...

s. The French traveler Laurent d'Arvieux
Laurent d'Arvieux
Laurent d'Arvieux was a French traveller and diplomat born in Marseille.He is known for his travels in the Middle East, which began in 1654 as a merchant in the Ottoman port of Smyrna. From 1658 he travelled throughout the Levant and in 1666 visited Tunis...

 described the city in 1659 as "now desolate, and consists only of about fifty poor houses, in bad condition... The plain around is extremely fertile; the soil is middling fat; but it is watered by several rivulets, which flow into the Jordan. Notwithstanding these advantages. only the gardens adjacent to the town are cultivated." In the 19th century, European scholars, archaeologists and missionaries visited often. The first excavation at Tell as-Sultan was carried out in 1867, and the monasteries of St. George of Koziba and John the Baptist were refounded and completed in 1901 and 1904, respectively.

20th century


After the collapse of the Ottoman empire at the end of World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, Jericho came under the rule of the British Mandate. The British built fortresses in Jericho during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 with the help of the Jewish company Solel Boneh
Solel Boneh
Solel Boneh is the oldest, and one of the largest, construction and civil engineering companies in Israel.-History:Solel Boneh was founded in 1921 during the first conference of the General Histadrut, under the name of Batz , an acronym of Binyan veAvodot Tziburiot . Its first project was to pave...

, and bridges were rigged with explosives in preparation for a possible invasion by German allied forces.

Jericho was captured by the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war
1948 Arab-Israeli War
The 1948 Arab–Israeli War, known to Israelis as the War of Independence or War of Liberation The war commenced after the termination of the British Mandate for Palestine and the creation of an independent Israel at midnight on 14 May 1948 when, following a period of civil war, Arab armies invaded...

. The Jericho Conference
Jericho Conference
The Jericho Conference was held in December 1948 to decide the future of the portion of Palestine that was held by Jordan at the end of the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, led by Sheikh Muhammad Ali Ja'abari...

, organized by King Abdullah and attended by over 2,000 Palestinian delegates in 1948 proclaimed "His Majesty Abdullah as King of all Palestine" and called for "the unification of Palestine and Transjordan
Transjordan
The Emirate of Transjordan was a former Ottoman territory in the Southern Levant that was part of the British Mandate of Palestine...

 as a step toward full Arab
Arab
Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity primarily living in the Arab world, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa. They are identified as such on one or more of genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing...

 unity." In mid-1950, Jordan formally annexed the West Bank and Jericho residents, like other residents of West Bank localities became Jordanian citizens.

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

 during the Six-Day War
Six-Day War
The Six-Day War , also known as the June War, 1967 Arab-Israeli War, or Third Arab-Israeli War, was fought between June 5 and 10, 1967, by Israel and the neighboring states of Egypt , Jordan, and Syria...

 of 1967 along with the rest of the West Bank. It was one of the first cities handed over to Palestinian Authority control in 1994, in accordance with the Oslo accords
Oslo Accords
The Oslo Accords, officially called the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements or Declaration of Principles , was an attempt to resolve the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflict...

. In 1994, Israel and the Palestinians signed a sweeping agreement laying the foundations for economic relations between Israel, Jericho and other cities under Palestinian self-rule.

21st century


In 2001, during the Second Intifada, Jericho was retaken by Israel. On 14 March 2006, the Israel Defense Forces
Israel Defense Forces
The Israel Defense Forces , commonly known in Israel by the Hebrew acronym Tzahal , are the military forces of the State of Israel. They consist of the ground forces, air force and navy. It is the sole military wing of the Israeli security forces, and has no civilian jurisdiction within Israel...

 launched Operation Bringing Home the Goods
Operation Bringing Home the Goods
Operation Bringing Home the Goods was a raid launched by the Israel Defense Forces on March 14, 2006, during the Second Intifada, on a Palestinian prison in Jericho. The prison held several prisoners wanted by Israel, whose incarceration was monitored by British and American wardens...

, in which it took captive six inmates from a Jericho prison following a 10-hour siege. Israel's reason for the siege was to capture PFLP general secretary, Ahmad Sa'adat
Ahmad Sa'adat
Ahmad Sa'adat is a Palestinian militant and Secretary-General of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine , a militant Palestinian group....

 and five other inmates for the assassination of Israeli tourist minister Rehavam Zeevi
Rehavam Zeevi
' 20 June 1926 - 17 October 2001) was an Israeli general, politician, and historian who founded the right-wing nationalist Moledet party, mainly advocating population transfer....

. At least two people were killed and 35 wounded in the incident. Before the siege, British and American monitors were guarding the prison but withdrew, citing lax security arrangements. The siege caused an uproar amongst the PFLP members and supporters as well as other PLO factions, and as a result Palestinian militants raided and kidnapped British and European citizens in the West Bank and Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
thumb|Gaza city skylineThe Gaza Strip lies on the Eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The Strip borders Egypt on the southwest and Israel on the south, east and north. It is about long, and between 6 and 12 kilometres wide, with a total area of...

.

After Hamas assaulted a neighborhood in Gaza mostly populated by the Fatah-aligned Hilles clan
Hilles clan
The Hilles clan is a Palestinian extended family that became known in 2008 for its violent conflict with the de facto Hamas military government in the Gaza Strip...

 in response to their attack on Hamas which killed six of its members, the Hilles clan was relocated to Jericho on 4 August 2008.

Geography


Jericho is located 258 metres (846.5 ft) below sea level
Sea level
Mean sea level is a measure of the average height of the ocean's surface ; used as a standard in reckoning land elevation...

 in an oasis
Oasis
In geography, an oasis or cienega is an isolated area of vegetation in a desert, typically surrounding a spring or similar water source...

 in Wadi Qelt
Wadi Qelt
Wadi Qelt or Nahal Prat is a valley or stream running west to east across the Judean desert in the West Bank, originating near Jerusalem and terminating near Jericho, near the Dead Sea...

 in the Jordan Valley
Jordan Valley (Middle East)
The Jordan Valley forms part of the larger Jordan Rift Valley. It is 120 kilometers long and 15 kilometers wide, where it runs from Lake Tiberias in the north to northern Dead Sea in the south. It runs for an additional 155 kilometer south of the Dead Sea to Aqaba, an area also known as Wadi...

. The nearby spring of Ein es-Sultan produces 1,000 gallons of water per minute (3.8 m3/min), irrigating some 2500 acres (10.1 km²) through multiple channels and feeding into the Jordan River, 6 miles (10 km) away. Annual rainfall is 6.4 inches (16.3 cm), mostly concentrated between November and February. The average temperature is 59 °F (15 °C) in January and 88 °F (31.1 °C) in August. The constant sunshine, rich alluvial soil, and abundant water from the spring have always made Jericho an attractive place for settlement.

Archaeology



The first excavations of the site were made by Charles Warren
Charles Warren
General Sir Charles Warren, GCMG, KCB, FRS was an officer in the British Royal Engineers. He was one of the earliest European archaeologists of Biblical Holy Land, and particularly of Temple Mount...

 in 1868. Ernst Sellin
Ernst Sellin
Ernst Sellin was a German theologian.Sellin studied theology and oriental languages...

 and Carl Watzinger
Carl Watzinger
Carl Watzinger was a German-born archaeologist that was part of a team that worked on uncovering the site of the ancient city of Jericho from 1907 to 1908. His partner was the German theologian Ernst Sellin....

 excavated Tell es-Sultan and Tulul Abu el-'Alayiq between 1907–1909 and in 1911, and John Garstang
John Garstang
John Garstang was a British archaeologist of the ancient Near East, especially Anatolia and the southern Levant....

 excavated between 1930 and 1936. Extensive investigations using more modern techniques were made by Kathleen Kenyon
Kathleen Kenyon
Dame Kathleen Mary Kenyon , was a leading archaeologist of Neolithic culture in the Fertile Crescent. She is best known for her excavations in Jericho in 1952-1958.-Early life:...

 between 1952 and 1958. Lorenzo Nigro and Nicolo Marchetti conducted a limited excavation in 1997.

Tell es-Sultan


The earliest settlement was located at the present-day Tell es-Sultan (or Sultan's Hill), a couple of kilometers from the current city. In Arabic
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

 and in Hebrew, tell
Tell
A tell or tel, is a type of archaeological mound created by human occupation and abandonment of a geographical site over many centuries. A classic tell looks like a low, truncated cone with a flat top and sloping sides.-Archaeology:A tell is a hill created by different civilizations living and...

means "mound" -- consecutive layers of habitation built up a mound over time, as is common for ancient settlements in the Middle East and Anatolia
Anatolia
Anatolia is a geographic and historical term denoting the westernmost protrusion of Asia, comprising the majority of the Republic of Turkey...

. Jericho is the type site
Type site
In archaeology a type site is a site that is considered the model of a particular archaeological culture...

 for the Pre-Pottery Neolithic A
Pre-Pottery Neolithic A
Pre-Pottery Neolithic A denotes the first stage in early Levantine Neolithic culture, dating around 9500 to 8500 BC. Archaeological remains are located in the Levantine and upper Mesopotamian region of the Fertile Crescent...

 (PPN A) and B periods.

Stone Age


Epipaleolithic
Epipaleolithic
The Epipaleolithic Age was a period in the development of human technology marked by more advanced stone blades and other tools than the earlier Paleolithic age, although still before the development of agriculture in the Neolithic age...

—construction at the site appears to predate the invention of agriculture
Agriculture
Agriculture is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi and other life forms for food, fiber, and other products used to sustain life. Agriculture was the key implement in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the...

, with the construction of Natufian culture
Natufian culture
The Natufian culture was a Mesolithic culture that existed from 12,500 to 9,500 BC in the Levant, a region in the Eastern Mediterranean. It was unusual in that it was sedentary, or semi-sedentary, before the introduction of agriculture...

 structures beginning earlier than 9000 BCE, the very beginning of the Holocene
Holocene
The Holocene is a geological epoch which began at the end of the Pleistocene and continues to the present. The Holocene is part of the Quaternary period. Its name comes from the Greek words and , meaning "entirely recent"...

 epoch in geologic history.

Pre-Pottery Neolithic A
Pre-Pottery Neolithic A
Pre-Pottery Neolithic A denotes the first stage in early Levantine Neolithic culture, dating around 9500 to 8500 BC. Archaeological remains are located in the Levantine and upper Mesopotamian region of the Fertile Crescent...

 (8350–7370 BCE); sometimes it is called Sultanian
PPNA Wall of Jericho
The Wall of Jericho is a Pre-Pottery Neolithic A defensive or flood protection wall suggested to date to approximately 8000 BC.-Biblical story:...

. The site is a 40,000 square metre settlement surrounded by the Wall of Jericho, with the Tower of Jericho
Tower of Jericho
The Tower of Jericho is an stone structure, built in the Pre-Pottery Neolithic A period around 8000 BCE. It is among the earliest stone monuments of mankind....

 in the centre of one wall. Along with Tell Qaramel
Tell Qaramel
Tell Qaramel is a tell, or archaeological mound, located in the north of present-day Syria, 25 km north of Aleppo and about 65 km south of the Taurus mountains, adjacent to the river Quweiq....

, this is one of the first walls ever to be discovered, thus suggesting some kind of social organization. The town contained round mud-brick houses, yet no street planning. The identity and number of the inhabitants (some sources say 2000–3000 dwellers) of Jericho during the PPN A period is still under debate, though it is known that they had domesticated emmer wheat, barley
Barley
Barley is a major cereal grain, a member of the grass family. It serves as a major animal fodder, as a base malt for beer and certain distilled beverages, and as a component of various health foods...

 and pulses and hunted wild animals.

Pre-Pottery Neolithic B
Pre-Pottery Neolithic B
Pre-Pottery Neolithic B is a division of the Neolithic developed by Dame Kathleen Kenyon during her archaeological excavations at Jericho in the southern Levant region....

, 7220 BCE to 5850 BCE (but carbon-14
Carbon-14
Carbon-14, 14C, or radiocarbon, is a radioactive isotope of carbon with a nucleus containing 6 protons and 8 neutrons. Its presence in organic materials is the basis of the radiocarbon dating method pioneered by Willard Libby and colleagues , to date archaeological, geological, and hydrogeological...

-dates are few and early). Expanded range of domesticated plants. Possible domestication of sheep
Domestic sheep
Sheep are quadrupedal, ruminant mammals typically kept as livestock. Like all ruminants, sheep are members of the order Artiodactyla, the even-toed ungulates. Although the name "sheep" applies to many species in the genus Ovis, in everyday usage it almost always refers to Ovis aries...

. Apparent cult involving the preservation of human skulls, with facial features reconstructed from plaster
Plaster
Plaster is a building material used for coating walls and ceilings. Plaster starts as a dry powder similar to mortar or cement and like those materials it is mixed with water to form a paste which liberates heat and then hardens. Unlike mortar and cement, plaster remains quite soft after setting,...

 and eyes set with shells in some cases.

After the PPN A settlement-phase there was a settlement hiatus of several centuries, then the PPN B settlement was founded on the eroded surface of the tell
Tell
A tell or tel, is a type of archaeological mound created by human occupation and abandonment of a geographical site over many centuries. A classic tell looks like a low, truncated cone with a flat top and sloping sides.-Archaeology:A tell is a hill created by different civilizations living and...

. The architecture consisted of rectilinear buildings made of mudbricks on stone foundations. The mudbricks were loaf-shaped with deep thumb prints to facilitate bounding. No building has been excavated in its entirety. Normally, several rooms cluster around a central courtyard. There is one big room (6.5 by 4 m (21.3 by 13.1 ) and 7 by 3 m (23 by 9.8 )) with internal divisions, the rest are small, presumably used for storage. The rooms have red or pinkish terrazzo
Terrazzo
Terrazzo is a composite material poured in place or precast, which is used for floor and wall treatments. It consists of marble, quartz, granite, glass or other suitable chips, sprinkled or unsprinkled, and poured with a binder that is cementitious, chemical or a combination of both...

-floors made of lime. Some impressions of mats made of reeds or rushes have been preserved. The courtyards have clay floors.

Kathleen Kenyon
Kathleen Kenyon
Dame Kathleen Mary Kenyon , was a leading archaeologist of Neolithic culture in the Fertile Crescent. She is best known for her excavations in Jericho in 1952-1958.-Early life:...

 interpreted one building as a shrine
Shrine
A shrine is a holy or sacred place, which is dedicated to a specific deity, ancestor, hero, martyr, saint, daemon or similar figure of awe and respect, at which they are venerated or worshipped. Shrines often contain idols, relics, or other such objects associated with the figure being venerated....

. It contained a niche in the wall. A chipped pillar of volcanic stone that was found nearby might have fit into this niche.

The dead were buried under the floors or in the rubble fill of abandoned buildings. There are several collective burials. Not all the skeletons are completely articulated, which may point to a time of exposure before burial. A skull
Human skull
The human skull is a bony structure, skeleton, that is in the human head and which supports the structures of the face and forms a cavity for the brain.In humans, the adult skull is normally made up of 22 bones...

 cache contained seven skulls. The jaws were removed and the faces covered with plaster; cowries
Cowry
Cowry, also sometimes spelled cowrie, plural cowries, is the common name for a group of small to large sea snails, marine gastropod molluscs in the family Cypraeidae, the cowries...

 were used as eyes. A total of ten skulls were found. Modelled skulls were found in Tell Ramad
Tell Ramad
Tell Ramad is a prehistoric, Neolithic tell at the foot of Mount Hermon, about southwest of Damascus in Syria. The tell was the site of a small village of , which was first settled in the late eighth millennium....

 and Beisamoun as well.

Other finds included flints, such as arrowheads (tanged or side-notched), finely denticulated sickle-blades, burin
Burin
Burin from the French burin meaning "cold chisel" has two specialised meanings for types of tools in English, one meaning a steel cutting tool which is the essential tool of engraving, and the other, in archaeology, meaning a special type of lithic flake with a chisel-like edge which was probably...

s, scrapers, a few tranchet axe
Tranchet axe
A Tranchet axe is a lithic tool made by removing a flake, known, when using this method, as a tranchet flake, parallel to the final intended cutting edge of the tool which creates a single straight edge as wide as the tool itself. It is found in some Acheulean assemblages as well as in Mesolithic...

s, obsidian
Obsidian
Obsidian is a naturally occurring volcanic glass formed as an extrusive igneous rock.It is produced when felsic lava extruded from a volcano cools rapidly with minimum crystal growth...

, and green obsidian from an unknown source. There were also querns
Quern-stone
Quern-stones are stone tools for hand grinding a wide variety of materials. They were used in pairs. The lower, stationary, stone is called a quern, whilst the upper, mobile, stone is called a handstone...

, hammerstones, and a few ground-stone axes made of greenstone. Other items discovered included dishes and bowls carved from soft limestone, spindle whorls made of stone and possible loom weights, spatulae and drills, stylised anthropomorphic plaster figures, almost life-size, anthropomorphic
Anthropomorphism
Anthropomorphism is any attribution of human characteristics to animals, non-living things, phenomena, material states, objects or abstract concepts, such as organizations, governments, spirits or deities. The term was coined in the mid 1700s...

 and theriomorphic
Therianthropy
Therianthropy refers to the metamorphosis of humans into other animals. Therianthropes are said to change forms via shapeshifting. Therianthropes have long existed in mythology, appearing in ancient cave drawings such as the Sorcerer at Les Trois Frères....

 clay figurines, as well as shell and malachite beads.

In the late 4th millennium BCE, Jericho was occupied during Neolithic 2 and the general character of the remains on the site link it culturally with Neolithic 2 sites in the West Syrian and Middle Euphrates groups. This link is established by the presence of rectilinear mud-brick buildings and plaster floors that are characteristic of the age.

Bronze Age


During the Middle Bronze Age Jericho was a small prominent city of the Canaan
Canaan
Canaan is a historical region roughly corresponding to modern-day Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, and the western parts of Jordan...

 region, reaching its greatest Bronze Age extent in the period from 1700 to 1550 BCE. It seems to have reflected the greater urbanization in the area at that time, and has been linked to the rise of the Maryannu
Maryannu
Maryannu is an ancient word for the caste of chariot-mounted hereditary warrior nobility which dominated many of the societies of the Middle East during the Bronze Age.The term is attested in the Amarna letters written by Haapi...

, a class of chariot-using aristocrats linked to the rise of the Mitanni
Mitanni
Mitanni or Hanigalbat was a loosely organized Hurrian-speaking state in northern Syria and south-east Anatolia from ca. 1500 BC–1300 BC...

te state to the north. Kathleen Kenyon reported “...the Middle Bronze Age is perhaps the most prosperous in the whole history of Kna'an. ... The defenses ... belong to a fairly advanced date in that period” and there was “a massive stone revetment... part of a complex system” of defenses (pp. 213–218). Bronze-age Jericho fell in the 16th century at the end of the Middle Bronze Age, the calibrated carbon remains from its City-IV destruction layer dating to 1617–1530 BCE. Notably this carbon dating c. 1573 BCE confirmed the accuracy of the stratigraphical dating c. 1550 by Kenyon.

Synagogues



The Jericho Synagogue in the Royal Maccabean winter palace at Jericho dates from 70-50 BCE.

A synagogue dating to the late 6th or early 7th century CE was discovered in Jericho in 1936, and was named Shalom Al Israel, or "peace unto Israel", after the central Hebrew motto in its mosaic floor. It was controlled by Israel after the Six Day War, but after the handover to Palestinian Authority control per the Oslo Accords, it has been a source of conflict. On the night of October 12, 2000, the synagogue was vandalized by Palestinians who burned holy books and relics and damaged the mosaic.

The Na'aran
Naaran
Naaran or Na'aran was a Jewish settlement and synagogue during the 5th and 6th century AD and was located north of Jericho, in Ephraim, between Bethel and Jericho. The synagogue floor has a mosaic floor with several designs. In the middle of the floor there is a large wheel of the zodiac. The...

 synagogue, another Byzantine era construction, was discovered on the northern outskirts of Jericho in 1918. While less is known of it than Shalom Al Israel, it has a larger mosaic and is in similar condition.

Demographics


Demographics have varied widely depending on the dominant ethnic group and rule in the region over the past three thousand years. In a 1945 land and population survey by Sami Hadawi
Sami Hadawi
Sami Hadawi was a Palestinian scholar and author. He is known for documenting the effects of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War on the Arab population in Palestine and published statistics for individual villages prior to Israel's establishment. Hadawi worked as a land specialist until he was exiled from...

, 3,010 inhabitants is the figure given for Jericho, of which 94% (2840) were Arab and 6% (170) were Jews.

In the first census carried out by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics
Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics
The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics is the statistical organization under the umbrella of the Palestinian Cabinet of the Palestinian National Authority....

 (PCBS), in 1997, Jericho's population was 14,674. Palestinian refugee
Palestinian refugee
Palestinian refugees or Palestine refugees are the people and their descendants, predominantly Palestinian Arabic-speakers, who fled or were expelled from their homes during and after the 1948 Palestine War, within that part of the British Mandate of Palestine, that after that war became the...

s constituted a significant 43.6% of the residents or 6,393 people. The gender make-up of the city was 51% male and 49% female. Jericho has a young population, with nearly half (49.2%) of the inhabitants being under the age of 20. People between the ages of 20 and 44 made up 36.2% of the population, 10.7% between the ages of 45 and 64, and 3.6% were over the age of 64.

Based on PCBS projections, Jericho presently has an Arab Palestinian
Palestinian people
The Palestinian people, also referred to as Palestinians or Palestinian Arabs , are an Arabic-speaking people with origins in Palestine. Despite various wars and exoduses, roughly one third of the world's Palestinian population continues to reside in the area encompassing the West Bank, the Gaza...

 population of over 20,000. The current mayor is Hassan Saleh, a former lawyer.

Health care


In April 2010, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) held a groundbreaking ceremony for the renovation of the Jericho Governmental Hospital. USAID is providing $2.5 million in funding for this project.

Twin towns - Sister cities


Jericho is twinned
Town twinning
Twin towns and sister cities are two of many terms used to describe the cooperative agreements between towns, cities, and even counties in geographically and politically distinct areas to promote cultural and commercial ties.- Terminology :...

 with: Campinas
Campinas
Campinas is a city and municipality located in the coastal interior of the state of São Paulo, Brazil. is the administrative center of the meso-region of the same name, with 3,783,597 inhabitants as of the 2010 Census, consisting of 49 cities....

 in Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

 Pisa
Pisa
Pisa is a city in Tuscany, Central Italy, on the right bank of the mouth of the River Arno on the Tyrrhenian Sea. It is the capital city of the Province of Pisa...

 in Italy (since 2000) Lyon
Lyon
Lyon , is a city in east-central France in the Rhône-Alpes region, situated between Paris and Marseille. Lyon is located at from Paris, from Marseille, from Geneva, from Turin, and from Barcelona. The residents of the city are called Lyonnais....

 in France Calipatria, California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

 in the USA Iaşi
Iasi
Iași is the second most populous city and a municipality in Romania. Located in the historical Moldavia region, Iași has traditionally been one of the leading centres of Romanian social, cultural, academic and artistic life...

 in Romania
Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

 Lærdal
Lærdal
Lærdal is a municipality in the southwestern part of Sogn og Fjordane county, Norway. It is part of the traditional district of Sogn. The administrative center of the municipality is the village of Lærdalsøyri...

 in Norway
Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

(since 1998)

See also


  • History of pottery in the Southern Levant
    History of pottery in the Southern Levant
    The history of pottery in Palestine describes the discovery and cultural development of pottery in Syro-Palestinian archaeology in the historical region of Palestine, which includes the modern day polities of Israel, the Palestinian Authority administered areas of the West Bank and the Gaza strip,...

  • Mevo'ot Yericho
    Mevo'ot Yericho
    Mevo'ot Yericho , founded in 1999, is an Israeli settlement and a communal settlement located in the West Bank's southern Jordan Valley just north of Jericho, in the Yitav Valley. The site is 150m below sea level. It falls under the municipal jurisdiction of the Bik'at HaYarden Regional Council...


External links