Judean Mountains

Judean Mountains

Overview

The Judaean Mountains,;( Jibal al-Khalil), also Judaean Hills and Hebron Hills is a mountain range in Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 and 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...

 where Jerusalem and several other biblical cities are located. The mountains reach a height of 1,000 m.



Running north to south, the Judaean mountains encompass West and East Jerusalem, Hebron
Hebron
Hebron , is located in the southern West Bank, south of Jerusalem. Nestled in the Judean Mountains, it lies 930 meters above sea level. It is the largest city in the West Bank and home to around 165,000 Palestinians, and over 500 Jewish settlers concentrated in and around the old quarter...

, Bethlehem
Bethlehem
Bethlehem is a Palestinian city in the central West Bank of the Jordan River, near Israel and approximately south of Jerusalem, with a population of about 30,000 people. It is the capital of the Bethlehem Governorate of the Palestinian National Authority and a hub of Palestinian culture and tourism...

 and Ramallah
Ramallah
Ramallah is a Palestinian city in the central West Bank located 10 kilometers north of Jerusalem, adjacent to al-Bireh. It currently serves as the de facto administrative capital of the Palestinian National Authority...

.
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Encyclopedia

The Judaean Mountains,;( Jibal al-Khalil), also Judaean Hills and Hebron Hills is a mountain range in Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 and 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...

 where Jerusalem and several other biblical cities are located. The mountains reach a height of 1,000 m.

Geography




Running north to south, the Judaean mountains encompass West and East Jerusalem, Hebron
Hebron
Hebron , is located in the southern West Bank, south of Jerusalem. Nestled in the Judean Mountains, it lies 930 meters above sea level. It is the largest city in the West Bank and home to around 165,000 Palestinians, and over 500 Jewish settlers concentrated in and around the old quarter...

, Bethlehem
Bethlehem
Bethlehem is a Palestinian city in the central West Bank of the Jordan River, near Israel and approximately south of Jerusalem, with a population of about 30,000 people. It is the capital of the Bethlehem Governorate of the Palestinian National Authority and a hub of Palestinian culture and tourism...

 and Ramallah
Ramallah
Ramallah is a Palestinian city in the central West Bank located 10 kilometers north of Jerusalem, adjacent to al-Bireh. It currently serves as the de facto administrative capital of the Palestinian National Authority...

. The range forms a natural division between the Shephelah
Shephelah
The Shephelah is a designation usually applied to the region in south-central Israel of 10-15 km of low hills between the central Mount Hebron and the coastal plains of Philistia within the area of the Judea, at an altitude of 120-450 metres above sea level. The area is fertile, and a temperate...

 coastal plains to the west and the Jordan Rift Valley
Jordan Rift Valley
The Jordan Rift Valley is an elongated depression located in modern-day Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian territories. This geographic region includes the Jordan River, Jordan Valley, Hula Valley, Lake Tiberias and the Dead Sea, the lowest land elevation on Earth...

 to the east. The Judaean Mountains were heavily forested in antiquity. The hills are composed of terra rosa
Terra rosa
The term terra rosa can refer to:* Terra rosa , a red clay soil produced by the weathering of limestone* Terra rosa , a red colour* Terra Rosa , a Japanese hard rock band...

 soils over hard limestone.

History


The Judaean Mountains’ anticlinorium, Israel, is part of the Syrian Arc. It underwent several phases of compressional folding, uplift and faulting from post-Turonian
Turonian
The Turonian is, in the ICS' geologic timescale, the second age in the Late Cretaceous epoch, or a stage in the Upper Cretaceous series. It spans the time between 93.5 ± 0.8 Ma and 89.3 ± 1 Ma...

 to Quaternary
Quaternary
The Quaternary Period is the most recent of the three periods of the Cenozoic Era in the geologic time scale of the ICS. It follows the Neogene Period, spanning 2.588 ± 0.005 million years ago to the present...

 times. In prehistoric times, animals no longer found in the Levant
Levant
The Levant or ) is the geographic region and culture zone of the "eastern Mediterranean littoral between Anatolia and Egypt" . The Levant includes most of modern Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel, the Palestinian territories, and sometimes parts of Turkey and Iraq, and corresponds roughly to the...

 region were found here, including elephant
Elephant
Elephants are large land mammals in two extant genera of the family Elephantidae: Elephas and Loxodonta, with the third genus Mammuthus extinct...

s, rhinoceri
Rhinoceros
Rhinoceros , also known as rhino, is a group of five extant species of odd-toed ungulates in the family Rhinocerotidae. Two of these species are native to Africa and three to southern Asia....

, giraffe
Giraffe
The giraffe is an African even-toed ungulate mammal, the tallest of all extant land-living animal species, and the largest ruminant...

s and Wild Asian Water Buffalo
Wild Asian Water Buffalo
The wild water buffalo also called Asian buffalo and Asiatic buffalo is a large bovine native to Southeast Asia...

. The range has karst topography
Karst topography
Karst topography is a geologic formation shaped by the dissolution of a layer or layers of soluble bedrock, usually carbonate rock such as limestone or dolomite, but has also been documented for weathering resistant rocks like quartzite given the right conditions.Due to subterranean drainage, there...

 including a stalactite
Stalactite
A stalactite , "to drip", and meaning "that which drips") is a type of speleothem that hangs from the ceiling of limestone caves. It is a type of dripstone...

 cave
Cave
A cave or cavern is a natural underground space large enough for a human to enter. The term applies to natural cavities some part of which is in total darkness. The word cave also includes smaller spaces like rock shelters, sea caves, and grottos.Speleology is the science of exploration and study...

 in Nahal Sorek National Park
Brook of Sorek
Nahal Sorek , also Soreq, is one of the largest, most important drainage basins in the Judean Hills. It is mentioned in the Book of Judges 16:4 of the Bible as the border between the ancient Philistines and the Tribe of Dan of the ancient Israelites...

 between Jerusalem and Beit Shemesh and the area surrounding Ofra
Ofra
Ofra is an Israeli settlement located in the northern West Bank in the jurisdiction of the Mateh Binyamin Regional Council. It is situated on the main road between Jerusalem and Nablus , 25 km from Jerusalem and has 3,200 inhabitants ....

, where fossils of prehistoric flora and fauna were found.

Transportation


An Israel Railways
Israel Railways
Israel Railways is the principal passenger railway operating company in Israel, and is responsible for all inter-city and suburban rail way passenger and freight traffic in the country. All its lines are standard gauge. The network is centered in Israel's densely populated coastal plain, from...

 line runs from Beit Shemesh along the Brook of Sorek
Brook of Sorek
Nahal Sorek , also Soreq, is one of the largest, most important drainage basins in the Judean Hills. It is mentioned in the Book of Judges 16:4 of the Bible as the border between the ancient Philistines and the Tribe of Dan of the ancient Israelites...

 and Valley of Rephaim
Valley of Rephaim
Valley of Rephaim - . A valley descending southwest from Jerusalem to the Valley of Elah below, it is an ancient route from the coastal plain to the Judean Hills, probably named after the legendary race of giants.-Biblical story:...

 into Jerusalem Malha Train Station.

External links