Tuesday, March 2, 2010

HURBAT BET LOYA - a place where you go equipped with a broom

"Ruin of the House of Lehi" is the Arabic meaning of Khirbet Lehi. This archaeological site, dating from 1160 B.C. is located at the intersection of two ancient trade roads, about 35 kilometers south west of Jerusalem, not far from Lachish.  This spot, discovered about 30 years ago, contains a large compound of housing, burial caves, wells, olive presses, water cisterns, quarries and a stable, giving proof of an ancient village - in it's vicinity according to the Bible, Samson killed the Philistines.

Although an excursion to this site as a whole is an interesting experience and very worthwhile the effort, our point of interest while visiting there one day, has been the remains of a chapel from Byzantine times, containing within it's boundary the most magnificent early christian mosaic floors. We arrived equipped with a sturdy broom. The mosaics are covered with sand to protect them, you have to sweep away the sand to expose what's beneath it (and you are asked to cover it all up again after you are done). Lovely surprises have been awaiting us!
This certainly is a wonderful place to visit with the whole family (don't forget the brooms), your children will feel like they are on a treasure hunt. They will discover ornaments, birds, bowls with fruit, vine leaves, grapes, animals, patchwork, a sailing ship, crosses, flowers, a face of a woman, fish, vessels and many inscriptions (in Greek). It will be a lot of fun, and a great opportunity for  your offspring to gather valuable knowledge about a place and it's history and beauty in their homeland.

This is just a wonderful locality to spend quality time at, and the pretty landscape surrounding the site, where a variety of grapes are grown, invites you to hike further and to have a picnic with the family under the blue sky - maybe near one of the lovely vine yards.

Here are some of my husbands photos from that day and if you wish to see more of that wonderful place here is a link that he prepared.



Dawn of LaTouchables said...

What a beautiful magical place...I can't believe you can walk here! And to bring my own broom--I WILL, and I'll feel like a great archiologist discovering an ancient culture!

glazedOver said...

I remember being there with Y. too. I remember that he put the camera in my hand and hoisted me up onto his shoulders so I could take a good aerial photograph. I still have the photo somewhere or another. It is a beautiful magical place, Dawn is exactly right.


Thanks for sharing this magical spot! How exciting it must be to sweep away the sand and find all that magic waiting there!