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Land & Nature

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Showing 21 - 35 from 35 entries

> Adventure in Wadi Khreitoun
> Birder's Paradise...
> Wadi al-Qilt - St. George Monastery
> Wadi Khreitoun
> Reflections on Spring in Palestine
> Palestine Flowers: Indigenous Symbols of Strength...
> The Rich Flavours of Palestine
> The Jericho Wildlife Monitoring Station
> Palestinians and Traditional Ecological Knowledge
> Wadi Muqlaq Monk caves, eternal silence and a...
> The Extinct Mammals of Palestine
> Wadi Qilt: Nature, Culture and Religion
> Owls in Palestine
> Mar Saba Monastery A place where culture and...
> Dead Sea Sparrow
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Wadi Khreitoun
submitted by Toine Van Teeffelen

The Khreitoun Valley starts 7 kms southeast of Bethlehem, 1 km south of mount Herodion. The area was inhabited during the Roman and Byzantine times, and until thirty years ago, it was inhabited by shepherds and Bedouins. The valley is named after a Turkish monkcalled "Khreitoun" who lived in the area in the 4 century AD. The valley is famous for its three pre-historic caves, and the Khreitoun cave. The first cave which can be found 1.5 kms to the left hand side from the beginning of the valley is Irq al Ahmar (the red vein) which was inhabited mainly between 50,000 BC - 2500 BC. The second is Um Qal'a cave, 1 km away, where remains of the stone-copper age were found (4,000 BC). The last pre-historic cave is Um Qatfa which is the main cave where pre-historic evidence was found in the valley at more than 12 meters-deep excavations. It is in this cave that the first stove in the Middle East was found. These caves were excavated between the years 1929 - 1948. The most interesting cave for visitors is the Khreitoun cave, 4 kms on the rights hand side from the beginning of the valley (one hour's brisk walk). The cave lies in the middle of the mountain, and is an entrance to a 17km tunnel that extends through the mountains. Archaeologists have managed to walk only 150 meters inside, and visitors can manage a much shorter distance. There is no lighting in the tunnel, and visitors need torches or candles to guide their way. It also requires some crawling to reach deep inside the cave.



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