Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Unable and unwilling to go underground

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A few weeks ago you came on our small group night hike to a little-known ancient cistern just outside Meitar.
I went back on my own in the sunlight to explore better. 
Several meters above the ceiling of the cistern I found the opening from which people (farmers? monks?) would lower their buckets and draw water some 1,500 years ago.
Now it is covered with rebar so no one will fall in.


Lower down you see the built stone wall near the entrance to the cistern.


 The sign says "Cistern [ma-agurah].  A typical Roman and Byzantine era water-collection cistern."


The ancients did a beautiful job of carving it out of the soft chalk stone.


A major disappointment was to find the carved steps were now worn down to almost nothing, very slippery and on a steep incline.
I was dying to see the inside but I really didn't want to die alone in the desert if I slipped and fell into the deep cistern.  No one would have found me. 


From a distance you can see how rain water from the higher hills ran down and collected in the big cistern.
Probably in former times there were channels to direct the rain water.


 "DANGER! -- open pit" sign in Hebrew and Arabic.


I turned back to head home through the forest on the Israel Trail.
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 (Linking to ABC Wednesday  U-Day and to signs, signs.)
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23 comments:

Maggie Ann said...

This cistern is very interesting...and your unique blog is a wonderful window into the past and present. Thanks so much! I will show your post to my husband. I'm glad you didn't fall there!

Gerard Michaud said...

Very nice photos and very informative Dina
Alice

Reader Wil said...

Thanks for the interesting hike with you. Very wise to avoid dangerous climbs in slippery caves. Take care.
Is everything ok? Are you happy in your new(well not so new any more) home?
We are having cold weather. Friday 5th June my sister and I are travelling to Tenerife for a holiday. We will return on the 16th.

Have a great week.
Wil, ABCW Team

PerthDailyPhoto said...

It's a bit awesome to think about the history in your world Dina.

VP said...

I think you are right being careful out there!

carolann said...

Very perfect pictures for Wed U.

Roger Owen Green said...

Off topic, I have sneakers very similar to the ones in the antepenultimate pic.


ROG, ABCW

William Kendall said...

A beautiful area, and yes, the works of the ancients are astonishing all this time later. I was watching a documentary on Petra last night that really fascinated me.

Trubes said...

Hi Rena,
A most interesting read and such a practical way to collect water in such a
hot country .
I don't blame you for not wanting to go underground, I avoid caves and heights, I much prefer to stay with my feet placed firmly on the ground!

Best wishes,
Di,
ABCW team.

Gattina said...

Very interesting ! The Romans really were everywhere !

Gattina
ABC Team

http://gattina-keyholepictures.blogspot.com/

Joy said...

Fascinating piece of history.

RedPat said...

The age of things there is amazing. Glad you were careful!

Nadege said...

Those cisterns are deeply needed in California!

Petrea Burchard said...

It is always good to explore–safely!

ellen b said...

Glad you made it home safe and sound. It's nice to have those descriptive signs and nice that you translated them for us!

Pietro and Cynthia said...

Such an interesting walk, very informative article Dina.

Su-sieee! Mac said...

Just reading about the cistern was a thrill. Seeing where water was taken 1,500 years ago. Wow! You made a wise decision not to try going down by yourself. Best wishes to you on your travels.
The View from the Top of the Ladder

Peter said...

What an amazing ancient land, fascinating.

Birdman said...

Thanks for taking us along on this walk. Danger and all.

Lmkazmierczak said...

Interesting...thanks for sharing and be safe♪ http://lauriekazmierczak.com/unlikely/

Dina said...

Friends, thanks for all your caring comments!

Roger, about your "Off topic, I have sneakers very similar to the ones in the antepenultimate pic." Well, mine are more hiking boots. The last time I saw the word antepenultimate was in college in Michigan, a long time ago, in our Biblical Hebrew textbook with the unlikely title, "A Practical Grammar for Classical Hebrew." :)

Fritz Ant said...

Thank you for sharing your findings and history of the ancient days, with my imagination going wild right now I imagine at how it must of been seeing those Romans all gathering around these ancient water holes gathering up water and loading up their donkeys, women carrying vessels on their heads or in hand.

Kay said...

I'm glad you were careful and didn't go down to the cistern on your own. It's all so interesting though and I could see why you wanted to investigate.