Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Shomera saved!

Some S words for ABC Wednesday

Such heavy rains we had for four consecutive days in February that the shomera collapsed!
Such a sorry sight.
The shomera stood for who knows how many years or centuries, but the unusual force and amount of rain water brought it down.
It is on the main street of my moshav (agricultural village), right next to the Founders Museum (atop which you saw the sirens in yesterdays post).

But the shomera was salvaged! See?
Two no-longer-young Arab men, who still know the old ways of building with fieldstones, came and worked hard for several days.
This time, just to be sure, they enclosed the whole structure in chicken wire, the better to hold it together during whatever disaster comes next.
All around us in the Hills of Jerusalem/Mountains of Judea you find remains of shomerot.
Most are corbelled stone huts with a dome roof.
Some are ancient, but they are hard to date.
Apparently farmers would use them to store their tools and their harvested produce and they would sleep there to guard everything before taking stuff home or to the market.
In our village, founded in 1950, the shomera was used as a watchtower.
I've heard that at least three of the pioneering new immigrant residents were killed by infiltrators in the early days of our isolated moshav.
I am still searching for a name in English for shomera.
Maybe you know?
Today I found a reference and will try to find this publication:
Z. Ron, The Watchman’s Hut as an Expression of Hilltop Farming in the Mountains of Judea and Samaria, Tel Aviv, 1976.
Perhaps this "watchman's hut" is the English term for shomera.


VP said...

A quite strange and interesting construction. I have see something of similar use but not much different in construction in our countryside, not in Tuscany but in nearby regions. Try the image in this page: caciara.

Mary Ann said...

I'm so glad the structure was repaired. It makes a difference to preserve the past. How fortunate that the skills to do it had not been lost.

Roger Owen Green said...

I'm not familiar with the STRUCTURE. Very interesting, and i'm glad it survived.
ROG, ABC Wednesday team

Manang Kim said...

Watchman's hut is very appropriate english name for shomera and it makes sense too. Love your post it's very informative. Thanks for sharing!

ABC Wednesday~S

VJF said...

I'm glad the shomera was able to be repaired. Old structures in our communities are what make then unique.

Dr M said...

I would suggest that "watchtower" is as good a translation as any. Some of those are leftovers from the Iron I original settlement of the Hill Country....a great legacy....

Ann said...

Shed? :) It so good to see these things saved. It will be a tragedy if the old skills die out altogether.

Linda Frances said...

Thanks for the words accompanying these fascinating photos.


Linda Frances

Kay said...

This is so interesting. How absolutely wonderful that the not quite young men were able to repair it. It would have been sad to lose that piece of history.

Cloudia said...

From the particular...
to the larger picture...

You show us the real Israel!

Aloha, Friend

Comfort Spiral

Vaggelis said...

its so sad to see history collapse. its because nature or because us? sometimes we believe that monuments are for ever and we left them to the hands of nature. but nature has its own rules.

RuneE said...

I certainly can't help you with that word, since it is new to me. However, I have learned something new!

Hilda said...

Another fascinating post. I'm glad you found some men who still have the old construction skills. And I hope that some young men decide to learn too, before the knowledge is completely lost.

Dick said...

I don't know the name in English but in Dutch it could be "Wachthuisje", lol. Probably not of much use to know!!!

Anna said...

Saturday, May 29th, 2010
Dear Dina,
Thank you for visiting my R-post the previous week.
A word in English for "Shomera"? I guess "watchtower" will have to do for want of a better word. Glad that they could repair it.
You are living in an area that is so rich in history. My one Runestone (Rokstenen) from last week is about as old as it gets up here, from a time when Jerusalem was already very, very old. It's the Ice Age that swept away anything away and a very cold climate with dark winters that made building difficult in anicent times.
What is amazing about your Shomera is that it could be rebuilt; that the old skills are still alive!

Happy Weekend!

Anna's S-words