Shimron

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For other uses, see Shimron (disambiguation).

Coordinates: 32°42′13″N 35°12′50″E / 32.70361°N 35.21389°E / 32.70361; 35.21389

Tel Shimron

Shimron (Hebrew: שמרון‎) was a major city in the north of the Land of Israel, in antiquity. Shimron is mentioned in the bible by this name, and in other period sources as Shim'on. The city is identified with the tell called Tel Samunia in Arabic.[1] The tel rises 60 meters above its surroundings, north-east of moshav Nahalal, on the border between the Lower Galilee, and the Jezreel Valley. Today the tel in not settled, Timrat was established alongside, to the east.

History[edit]

Shimron was one of the Bronze Age fortified Canaanite cities that controlled the Jezreel Valley, possibly the largest of them. All of these cities were located at an entrance to the valley, and controlled one of the roads leading into it.

In the Amarna letters and the Execration texts,[2] the city is referred to as Shim'on. In the bible, it is mentioned as one of the cities that were attacked by Joshua (Joshua 12:20), and also as belonging to the Tribe of Zebulun (Joshua 19:15).

In the Hellenistic period, there was a large settlement at the foot of the tel, called Shimonia or Samunia. The city was central during First Jewish–Roman War, and in 66 CE a battle occurred here between the Jewish Rebels and the Romans, who besieged the city.

The name of the city occurs also elsewhere (Niddah 24b), and in the Middle Ages it is mentioned by Ishtori Haparchi ("Kaftor wa-Feraḥ," ch. xi).[3]

From at least the beginning of the 19th century, a small Arab village called Semunieh was here.[4] In 1875 it was described as a small village on a knoll with three springs, having probably less than 100 inhabitants.[5]

In 1867, a group of German Templers attempted to establish a settlement on the site, which failed due to malaria.

In 1936, the site became an agricultural training station for the Moshavim Movement. One group that trained here came from Nahalal, and continued on to establish kibbutz Hanita.

In 1948, kibbutz Timorim was established on the site. Timorim became a moshav shitufi in 1953 and moved to the south of the country, due to lack of farming lands. When it was vacated, it became a Ma'abara (transit camp) for new immigrants destined for Migdal Ha'Emek and Ramat Yishai.

Nature reserve[edit]

In 1965, a 28-dunam nature reserve was declared,[6] preserving the Apple-ring Acacia (syn. Acacia albida) trees that grow on the site. This is the northern-most occurrence of these trees in Israel. The Apple-ring Acacia, native to Africa and the Middle East, is used for nitrogen fixation, erosion control for crops, for food, drink and medicine. It sheds its leaves in the rainy season and is highly valued in agroforestry as it can grow among field crops without shading them.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Shimron". The Bible Encyclopedia. 
  2. ^ Aharoni, Yohanan (1979). The land of the Bible: a historical geography. Westminster John Knox Press. pp. 144–147. ISBN 978-0-664-24266-4. Retrieved 18 October 2010. 
  3. ^ "Simonias". The Jewish Encyclopedia. 
  4. ^ E. Robinson and E. Smith (1856). Biblical Researches in Palestine — a journal of travels in the year 1838 II. p. 344. 
  5. ^ C. R. Conder and H. H. Kitchener (1881). The Survey of Western Palestine I. London: The Committee of the Palestine Exploration Fund. p. 279. 
  6. ^ "List of National Parks and Nature Reserves" (in Hebrew). Israel Nature and Parks Authority. Retrieved 2010-10-18. 
  7. ^ ILDIS LegumeWeb