Jericho – ancient city
The Bible tells us that Joshua, following the instructions of God, together with the Israeli army laid siege to the city of Jericho. The Israelites carried the Ark of the Covenant around the city walls and the priests blew the trumpets, and then the Israelites screamed all together. So, the walls of Jericho fell down, and they took the city… Since ancient times, there is an expression “the trumpets of Jericho” to describe a very loud sound that can destroy.
At the end of the XIX century German archaeologist and the Protestant Professor Ernst Sellin, who studied the biblical text, went to the Jordan Valley, which was 10 km to the northwest of the Dead Sea, and began to dig. After a few years of hard work he was able to pull out from the darkness of millennia evidence of the existence of the city. He found walls, towers, shards of crockery. He was the first to prove that there was once a town which was not only the oldest, but the story in the Bible about it was true.
In 1950 archaeologists found new evidence that in the X-IX centuries BC nomadic hunters lived in that place. Near the housing they built their sanctuary, where all sorts of religious rituals took place. In the VII century BC the settlement became a town. The houses made of mud brick were the most ancient human dwellings of all, ever discovered by archaeologists. The town was surrounded by a 800-meter-long wall with a 9-meter-high tower in the middle. It was the only town 300 m below sea level.
In the Bronze Age Jericho was already a prosperous city. Thanks to the tropical climate it was a green town with lots of plants. Flavius Josephus called it the fertilest land of Judah. Jericho was on an important trade route which provided its development.
According to legend, the city was captured and destroyed by the ancient Jewish nomads invaded Canaan, a country that in biblical times stretched to the west of the Jordan. According to ancient tradition, God told Abraham to leave Mesopotamia and go to the land of Canaan, called the Promised Land. This country and became the home of his ancestors.
The natives of the land of Canaan, Phoenicians, founded many cities, including Carthage on the shores of the Mediterranean.
In the ancient scriptures it is said that the Israelis laid siege to the city, captured it, and killed all the residents. The city was burned to the ground. Later, in the VII century BC, another great city was built on its ruins.
In the I century BC, the Roman governor Herod the Great, the one who ordered to kill all the babies of Bethlehem, ordered to build a palace in the Roman style near Jericho. He died in that palace which was discovered during excavations in 1950.
There are places connected with Jewish, Christian and Muslim religions near the ancient Jericho. There is an Orthodox monastery on the Mount of Temptation in the west. Nabi Musa Mosque is in the south. It stands on the spot where, according to Jewish tradition, Moses was buried.