Here in Israel you can not throw a stone without touching some ancient ruin, a holy site or an archaeological dig. Many places are excavated thoroughly with signs of explanations, and flyers with photos and words, telling the story. You pay an entrance fee, there are restrooms and a kiosk, a visitor center, all very comfortable, and you have hours of wonderful strolling through the past and you wonder, and learn, and are excited.
But then, you go out, just on a nature trip, and you stumble on remnants of long gone by times, with a small sign post, or no sign at all. A mosaic floor of a synagogue or church, broken columns, water wells and cisterns, an olive press, fallen walls of rooms, entrance gates, relics of the past, of the Israelite from biblical times, of Romans and Crusaders, Byzantines and Ottomans, and so on.
Yesterday we went to see some of the last spring flowers, and we came upon remnants of a Byzantine church with gorgeous mosaic floors, all open under the sky and the already hot sun. What a treasure!
There is a medallion with Greek writing.
The ruins of the nearby dwellings are much older.
A water well.
Olives were pressed here to get the precious oil.
It is May already and the green of the spring fades away to the beige and brown hues and shades of summer.
But some flowers still color the landscape.
Photos by Uri Eshkar.