Only a few kilometers away from my house there is a historical site, now called Antipatrus Fortress, which bares the story of several civilizations, the earliest dating back to BC 4500.
The Middle Bronze Age (BC 2700-3000) was a period of urban culture in the land of Israel when the the city Afek was built at this place.
The Canaanite city of Afek is first mentioned in Egyptian writing from the 19th c BC.
After the Hellenistic period, King Herod expanded the city and called it Antipatris ,during the Roman times (63 Bce – 324 CE).
I walked the remains of the Cardo, being the main road with the shops on each side, as well as the Odeon (little theater) .
An earth quake around 363 destroyed the city, rediscovered with the arrival of the Ottomans in 1915 . By that time, the area had seen many conquering nations including the crusades .
The fortress standing today is mainly the remains from the period of the Ottomans.
What attracted so many civilizations over such a long period to this area? I suspect it was a combination of a few natural and strategic factors: firstly the fresh rain water filtering down from the Judean hills of Jerusalem , surfacing in the area as the source of today’s Hayarkon River that proceeds to snake through modern Te l- Aviv; secondly, the commanding heights and strategic position straddling the route between the sea and the city of Jerusalem.
Today the area is declared a national park, rich in Flora and Fauna.
Visiting a place so laden with history reminds one how transient we humans are, trustees of civilisation and nature’s beauty.
I find such trips into nature and history to be both humbling and spiritually refreshing .
Hope you enjoyed the tour as much as I did!