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Jericho
Arabic transcription(s)
 • Arabicأريحا
Ariha
Hebrew transcription(s)
 • Hebrewיריחו
Iriho
The city of Jericho from Tell es-Sultan
The city of Jericho from Tell es-Sultan
Official logo of Jericho
Municipal Seal of Jericho
Jericho is located in the Palestinian territories
Jericho
Jericho
Location of Jericho within Palestine
Coordinates: 31°52′16″N 35°26′39″E / 31.87111°N 35.44417°E / 31.87111; 35.44417Coordinates: 31°52′16″N 35°26′39″E / 31.87111°N 35.44417°E / 31.87111; 35.44417
Palestine grid193/140
StateState of Palestine
GovernorateJericho
Founded9600 BCE
Government
 • TypeCity (from 1994)
 •

Jericho (/ˈɛrɪk/; Arabic: أريحاArīḥā [ʔaˈriːħaː] (About this soundlisten); Hebrew: יְרִיחוֹYeriḥo) is a Palestinian city in the West Bank. It is located in the Jordan Valley, with the Jordan River to the east and Jerusalem to the west. It is the administrative seat of the Jericho Governorate, and is governed by the Palestinian National Authority.[2] In 2007, it had a population of 18,346.[3] The city was annexed and ruled by Jordan from 1949 to 1967, and has been held under Israeli occupation since 1967; administrative control was handed over to the Palestinian Authority in 1994.[4][5] It is believed to be one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world[6][7][8] and the city with the oldest known protective wall in the world.[9] It was thought to have the oldest stone tower in the world as well, but excavations at Tell Qaramel in Syria have discovered stone towers that are even older.[10][11]

Archaeologists have unearthed the remains of more than 20 successive settlements in Jericho, the first of which dates back 11,000 years (9000 BCE),[12][13] almost to the very beginning of the Holocene epoch of the Earth's history.[14][15]

Copious springs in and around the city have attracted human habitation for thousands of years.[16] Jericho is described in the Hebrew Bible as the "city of palm trees".[17]

Etymology

Jericho's name in Hebrew, Yeriẖo, is generally thought to derive from the Canaanite word reaẖ ("fragrant"), but other theories hold that it originates in the Canaanite word for "moon" (Yareaẖ) or the name of the lunar deity Yarikh for whom the city was an early centre of worship.[18]

Jericho's Arabic name, ʼArīḥā, means "fragrant" and also has its roots in Canaanite Reaẖ.[19][20][21]

History and archaeology

History of excavations

The first excavations of the site were made by Charles Warren in 1868. Ernst Sellin and Carl Watzinger excavated Tell es-Sultan and Tulul Abu el-'Alayiq between 1907 and 1909, and in 1911, and John Garstang excavated between 1930 and 1936. Extensive investigations using more modern techniques were made by Kathleen Kenyon between 1952 and 1958. Lorenzo Nigro and Nicolò Marchetti conducted excavations in 1997–2000. Since 2009 the Italian-Palestinian archaeological project of excavation and restoration was resumed by Rome "La Sapienza" University and Palestinian MOTA-DACH under the direction of Lorenzo Nigro and Hamdan Taha, and Jehad Yasine since 2015.[22] The Italian-Palestinian Expedition carried out 13 seasons in 20 years (1997–2017), with some major discoveries, like Tower A1 in the Middle Bronze Age southern Lower Town and Palace G on the eastern flanks of the Spring Hill overlooking the Spring of 'Ain es-Sultan dating from Early Bronze III.

Stone Age: Tell es-Sultan and its spring

The earliest excavated settlement was located at the present-day Tell es-Sultan (or Sultan's Hill), a couple of kilometers from the current city. In both Arabic and Hebrew, tell means "mound" – consecutive layers of habitation built up a mound over time, as is common for ancient settlements in the Middle East and Anatolia. Jericho is the type site for the Pre-Pottery Neolithic A (PPNA) and Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (PPNB) periods.

Natufian hunter-gatherers, c. 10,000 BCE

Calibrated Carbon 14 dates for Jericho as of 2013.[23]

Epipaleolithic construction at the site appears to predate the invention of agriculture, with the construction of Natufian culture structures beginning earlier than 9000 BCE, the beginning of the Holocene epoch in geologic history.[8]

Jericho has evidence of settlement dating back to 10,000 BCE. During the Younger Dryas period of cold and drought, permanent habitation of any one location was impossible. However, the Ein es-Sultan spring at what would become Jericho was a popular camping ground for Natufian hunter-gatherer groups, who left a scattering of crescent-shaped microlith tools behind them.[24] Around 9600 BCE, the droughts and cold of the Younger Dryas stadial had come to an end, making it possible for Natufian groups to extend the duration of their stay, eventually leading to year-round habitation and permanent settlement.

Pre-Pottery Neolithic, c. 9500–6500 BCE

Dwelling foundations unearthed at Tell es-Sultan in Jericho

The Pre-Pottery Neolithic at Jericho is divided in Pre-Pottery Neolithic A and Pre-Pottery Neolithic B.

Archaeologists have unearthed the remains of more than 20 successive settlements in Jericho, the first of which dates back 11,000 years (9000 BCE),[12][13] almost to the very beginning of the Holocene epoch of the Earth's history.[14][15]

Copious springs in and around the city have attracted human habitation for thousands of years.[16] Jericho is described in the Hebrew Bible as the "city of palm trees".[17]

Jericho's name in Hebrew, Yeriẖo, is generally thought to derive from the Canaanite word reaẖ ("fragrant"), but other theories hold that it originates in the Canaanite word for "moon" (Yareaẖ) or the name of the lunar deity Yarikh for whom the city was an early centre of worship.[18]

Jericho's Arabic name, ʼArīḥā, means "fragrant" and also has its roots in Canaanite Reaẖ.[19][20][21]

History and archaeology

History of excavations

The first excavations of the site were made by Charles Warren in 1868. Ernst Sellin and Carl Watzinger excavated Tell es-Sultan and Tulul Abu el-'Alayiq between 1907 and 1909, and in 1911, and John Garstang excavated between 1930 and 1936. Extensive investigations using more modern techniques were made by Kathleen Kenyon between 1952 and 1958. Lorenzo Nigro and Nicolò Marchetti conducted excavations in 1997–2000. Since 2009 the Italian-Palestinian archaeological project of excavation and restoration was resumed by Rome "La Sapienza" University and Palestinian MOTA-DACH under the direction of Lorenzo Nigro and Hamdan Taha, and Jehad Yasine since 2015.[22] The Italian-Palestinian Expedition carried out 13 seasons in 20 years (1997–2017), with some major discoveries, like Tower A1 in the Middle Bronze Age southern Lower Town and Palace G on the eastern flanks of the Spring Hill overlooking the Spring of 'Ain es-Sultan dating from Early Bronze III.

Stone Age: Tell es-Sultan and its spring

The earliest excavated settlement was located at the present-day Tell es-Sultan (or Sultan's Hill), a couple of kilometers from the current city. In both Arabic and Hebrew, tell means "mound" – consecutive layers of habitation built up a mound over time, as is common for ancient settlements in the Middle East and Anatolia. Jericho is the type site for the Pre-Pottery Neolithic A (PPNA) and Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (PPNB) periods.

Natufian hunter-gatherers, c. 10,000 BCE

Calibrated Carbon 14 dates for Jericho as of 2013.[23]

Epipaleolithic construction at the site appears to predate the invention of agriculture, with the construction of Natufian culture structures beginning earlier than 9000 BCE, the beginning of the Holocene epoch in geologic history.[8]

Jericho has evidence of settlement dating back to 10,000 BCE. During the Younger Dryas period of cold and drought, permanent habitation of any one location was impossible. However, the Ein es-Sultan spring at what would become Jericho was a popular camping ground for Natufian hunter-gatherer groups, who left a scattering of crescent-shaped microlith tools behind them.[24] Around 9600 BCE, the droughts and cold of the Younger Dryas stadial had come to an end, making it possible for Natufian groups to extend the duration of their stay, eventually leading to year-round habitation and permanent settlement.

Pre-Pottery Neolithic, c. 9500–6500 BCE

Dwelling foundations unearthed at Tell es-Sultan in Jericho

The Pre-Pottery Neolithic at Jericho is divided in Pre-Pottery Neolithic A and Pre-Pottery Neolithic B.

Pre-Pottery Neolithic A (PPNA)

The first permanent settlement on the site of Jericho developed near the Ein es-Sultan spring between 9,500 and 9000 BCE.[25]Jericho's Arabic name, ʼArīḥā, means "fragrant" and also has its roots in Canaanite Reaẖ.[19][20][21]

The first excavations of the site were made by Charles Warren in 1868. Ernst Sellin and Carl Watzinger excavated Tell es-Sultan and Tulul Abu el-'Alayiq between 1907 and 1909, and in 1911, and John Garstang excavated between 1930 and 1936. Extensive investigations using more modern techniques were made by Kathleen Kenyon between 1952 and 1958. Lorenzo Nigro and Nicolò Marchetti conducted excavations in 1997–2000. Since 2009 the Italian-Palestinian archaeological project of excavation and restoration was resumed by Rome "La Sapienza" University and Palestinian MOTA-DACH under the direction of Lorenzo Nigro and Hamdan Taha, and Jehad Yasine since 2015.[22] The Italian-Palestinian Expedition carried out 13 seasons in 20 years (1997–2017), with some major discoveries, like Tower A1 in the Middle Bronze Age southern Lower Town and Palace G on the eastern flanks of the Spring Hill overlooking the Spring of 'Ain es-Sultan dating from Early Bronze III.

Stone Age: Tell es-Sultan and its spring

The earliest excavated settlement was located at the present-day Tell es-Sult

The earliest excavated settlement was located at the present-day Tell es-Sultan (or Sultan's Hill), a couple of kilometers from the current city. In both Arabic and Hebrew, tell means "mound" – consecutive layers of habitation built up a mound over time, as is common for ancient settlements in the Middle East and Anatolia. Jericho is the type site for the Pre-Pottery Neolithic A (PPNA) and Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (PPNB) periods.

Natufian hunter-gatherers, c. 10,000 BCE

Epipaleolithic construction at the site appears to predate the invention of agriculture, with the construction of Natufian culture structures beginning earlier than 9000 BCE, the beginning of the Holocene epoch in geologic history.[8]

Jericho has evidence of settlement dating back to 10,000 BCE. During the Younger Dryas period of cold and drought, permanent habitation of any one location was impossible. However, the Ein es-Sultan spring at what would become Jericho was a popular camping ground for Natufian hunter-gatherer groups, who left a scattering of crescent-shaped microlith tools behind them.[24] Around 9600 BCE, the droughts and cold of the Younger Dryas stadial had come to an end, making it possible for Natufian groups to extend the duration of their stay, eventually leading to year-round habitation and permanent settlement.

Pre-Pottery Neolithic, c. 9500–6500 BCE