Pinsteps. Hotem HaCarmel: A Historical Hike with a Perfect Coffee Break Spot
Places to visit in Binyamina-Giv'at Ada. Languages: en

The stone tumuli directly in front of the viewpoint at Hotem HaCarmel are fascinating remnants of the region's ancient past. These tumuli are ancient tombs, each consisting of a rectangular burial chamber encircled by fieldstones and covered with soil and stones, with diameters ranging from 4 to 9 meters. Findings from these tombs, which are minimal, suggest they each held one adult, sometimes accompanied by a child and an artefact. This site is believed to have been a burial ground for a shepherd community that lived in the southern part of Carmel during the Early Bronze Age, specifically in the Canaanite period between 2500 and 2000 B.C.E. Over twenty of these tumuli were excavated by a team from the Hebrew University between 1989 and 1991, offering a glimpse into the life and death rituals of these ancient peoples.

The geological aspect of this area is equally intriguing. The stones here are part of a limestone cliff, prone to weathering and erosion, creating uniquely shaped stones that resemble cubes. Beneath this cliff runs a road on arches over Nahal Taninim. The village of Jisr az-Zarqa, visible beyond the greenhouses along the seashore, translates to "Green Bridge." It earned this name when a green carriage of German Emperor Wilhelm II crossed the bridge over Nahal Taninim in 1898, two years before the turn of the 20th century. The Ottoman Empire established the village, and its residents, brought from Africa, were known to have immunity to malaria. This was significant because the area was marshy due to the overflowing Nahal Taninim. The presence of these marshes is why the road still runs on arches today.

The name "Taninim" translates to "crocodiles," indeed, crocodiles once inhabited this river and its marshes. The last crocodile in the area was killed in the early 20th century, and its stuffed remains are displayed in the Natural History Museum at Tel Aviv University.

This location not only offers a beautiful natural panorama but also a rich tapestry of historical, cultural, and geological significance, connecting visitors to the deep and varied history of the region.

Adding to the narrative, this spot at Hotem HaCarmel, with its panoramic views and historical significance, is also the perfect place for a rest stop. Here, hikers can take a moment to relax, reflect on the journey, and enjoy a cup of coffee amidst the serene natural beauty and the whispers of history that surround them. It's an ideal setting to pause, rejuvenate, and appreciate the unique blend of nature and history before continuing on the trail.

Pictures uploaded by @Evgeny Praisman
List of routes including this place
Evgeny Praisman
Hiking trip to Hotam HaCarmel in Binyamina-Giv'at Ada of Dec 30, 2023

Embark on a captivating hiking adventure through the southern part of Mount Carmel, just a few moments away from the enchanting Ein Zur Spring. This scenic trail offers a convenient and free parking area, making it the perfect starting point for your journey. After your hike, you can relax in the beautiful surroundings of the spring.

In December, you'll be treated to a mesmerizing display of wildflowers, including marigolds, anemones, and cyclamens. As you ascend the cliffs of the mountain, you'll encounter a breathtaking viewpoint where you can take a break and enjoy the splendid vista.

Along the way, you'll discover ancient burial mounds, remnants of early civilizations. Further ahead lies a Roman and Byzantine villa and farm, providing fascinating insights into the region's history.

The trail then winds through the lush Gariga, leading you across the Crocodile River's stream to the main square of Rothschild Park, a popular gathering spot for hikers.

Your journey culminates with a visit to the remarkable ruins of Houri Farm, the ancient Greek fortress of Aleq, the Zur Spring, and the scenic park that surrounds it. This hiking route promises an unforgettable exploration of nature, history, and culture.

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Evgeny Praisman (author)
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