Israel (literally) Forges a New Trail Through History

The government is planning on spending NIS 500 million over five years to restore and preserve heritage sites across the country. They are hoping the investment will work to strengthen the Israeli and Jewish connection to the historic and Zionist heritage of Israel…

Netanyahu said that he plans to present a blueprint to the government on February 25 that will include, among other things, the inauguration of two trails, in addition to the existing Israel National Trail (“Shvil Yisrael”).

One is an historical trail connecting dozens of archaeological sites, and the second is an “Israeli Experience” trail linking up over 100 places important to the nation’s more recent history and will include buildings that are to be preserved, settlement sites, small museums and memorials.

At present, the plan includes about 150 projects.

I highlighted a detail above that particularly appeals to my interests. Here are more details.

These include some sites that are already considered well kept, like Caesarea National Park or Masada, where relatively little work, such as the introduction of new sound and light equipment, will be needed.

Other important archaeological sites, like Tel Lachish or the synagogue at Hurvat Amudim near the Golani Junction, will require extensive restoration and preservation work.

At Tel Lachish, which Netanyahu referred to in his speech, the plan is to restore the gate into the city and the city walls, to prepare trails, to build an entrance hall and to add signposts, among other things.

Other sites marked for restoration are Neot Kedumim, Susya, Qumran, Jason’s Tomb in the Rehavia neighborhood of Jerusalem, the Sanhedrin Garden, the Eshkolot Cave, Umm al-Amad, the Beit Shean antiquities, Tel Megiddo, Tiberias, Tel Arad, Tel Dan, Hurvat Madras, the park around the Old City of Jerusalem and the City of David.

This will take some time to fully and properly implement, but it sounds like an exciting new way to explore Israel’s rich ancient heritage. It will take longer than 8 days to complete an archaeological hiking tour of the country’s sites. Better start planning and saving now!

Read the full Haaretz article.

HT: PaleoJudaica

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About LukeChandler

Luke holds an M.A. in Ancient and Classical History and has been an adjunct professor at Florida College in Temple Terrace, Florida. Luke and his wife Melanie have five children. He serves as a minister in English and Spanish with the North Terrace Church of Christ and participates annually in archaeological excavations in Israel. Luke also leads tours to Europe and the Bible Lands.
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