JERUSALEM-the 50 sites you may overlook

In a historic and religious city like Jerusalem there is so much to see no matter how much you tour. When time is a limiting factor, even the most efficient tour guides have to compromise while deciding what to incorporate in the itinerary. Although it depends on the interest of the individual visitor as well, there is still a huge must-see-list in Jerusalem that cannot be avoided. At every stop so much information is thrown on a visitor that sometimes s/he tends to forget the details after leaving the place.

I remember when I first visited the Church of Holy Sepulcher, it appeared to me more like a small museum than a church. I was virtually clueless inside a dark and dull overcrowded massive complex of more than 25 chapels with several curious artifacts and antiques scattered under some dusky arches and dingy columns. It took me at least three visits with a proper map in hand to understand the Church complex. A normal visitor for instance would be satisfied with Golgotha, the ‘Stone of Unction’ and the ‘Holy Sepulcher’, but the oldest part of the complex, viz. the first century tombs inside the Syrian Orthodox Chapel could be easily missed.

In the upcoming posts I plan to upload 50 such sites from Jerusalem that I believe can be easily overlooked or go unnoticed by an average visitor. I am incorporating the following sites from my previous visits, again with no specific order of importance. I am sure that a serious traveler who loves history, traditions and the Bible has noticed or been to most of them.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Khirbet Wadi Hamam (Veradim)-Located adjacent to the village of Hamam and on the steep slope of Nitai Hills, these are one of the largest (12 acres) villages in Galilee from the Roman period (2nd cent. AD onwards). I have marked the area in 1P with a red circle.

Four excavation seasons have been carried out at the site till date (2007 to 2011). The major findings include

1) A 14.5 meters wide Synagogue from late 3rd or early 4th century AD
2) Massive Residential Complexes and an Oil Press from at least 2nd century AD
3) Weapons and a hoard of coins from the days of Hadrian Caesar (2nd century AD)
4) Beautiful mosaic fragments depicting scenes that have no parallels neither in other synagogues, nor in Roman-Byzantine art in Israel at all.

More details and pictures can be fetched from the official Hebrew University site below:

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