Ramat HaNadiv

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Sundial in Ramat Hanadiv

Ramat Hanadiv (Hebrew: רמת הנדיב, Heights of the Benefactor, is a nature park and garden in northern Israel, covering 4.5 km (3 mi) at the southern end of Mount Carmel between Zikhron Ya'akov to the north and Binyamina to the south.[1] The Jewish National Fund planted pine and cypress groves in most of the area.[2]


In 1882, during the late Ottoman era, the PEF's Survey of Western Palestine (SWP) found at Umm el Alak only "ruined walls."[3] The name meant "producing leeches."[4] A population list from about 1887 showed that Umm el Alaq had about 85 residents, all Muslim.[5]

Umm el-'Aleq was a small Arab village where in the 19th century a farmstead (Beit Khouri) was constructed by the Christian Arab family of el-Khouri from Haifa. French Baron Edmond de Rothschild purchased the land from the el-Khouri family. The Jews coming during the Third Aliyah in 1919 changed the name of the region to "Ummlaleq" ("the miserable one"); their diaries recorded conflicts with the evicted Arabs as well as malarial mosquitoes proving to be an impediment to settlement within the region.[6]

In the 1922 census of Palestine, conducted by the British Mandate authorities, Umm al-Alaq had a population of 14 Jews.[7]


Yitzar Hirschfeld has carried out archaeological digs in Ramat Hanadiv over a period of 14 years. The excavations at Horvat ‘Aqav and Horvat Eleq, has unearthed remains from three periods: a small Phoenician shrine, a Herodian estate manor and a Byzantine period villa.[8][9][10] It has been hypothesized that there was a spread of malarial mosquitoes in Ramat Hanadiv during the late Byzantine period.[11]

The entrance to the Rothschild family tomb

Horvat 'Eleq[edit]

The excavations at Horvat 'Eleq uncovered a Jewish Hellenistic-period settlement, a huge Herodian fortified complex, and a Roman-period bathhouse, in addition to a water system and the 19th-century Umm el-'Aleq.[12]

Horvat 'Aqav[edit]

The excavations of the late 1st century BCE Herodian manor complex at Horvat 'Aqav revealed the base of a three storied tower, stables, two wine presses and an olive press. The Herodian manor also had a bath house, fed by a hypocaust system, with caldarium and swimming pool.[13][14][15] Crosses found on roof tiles and bowls at the Horvat 'Aqav excavation from the Byzantine era may indicate that the later occupants of the site were Christians.[16]

Ein Tzur[edit]

The spring and aqueduct at Ein Tzur has been linked to Mont Sina, written about by an anonymous Pilgrim of Bordeaux (333) located 3 miles (4.8 km) from Caesarea Maritima. Where a spring on the mountain is visited by women seeking to become pregnant by bathing in its waters. This is due to a hoard of more than 2,000 coins being discovered in the pool of Ein Tzur, indicating that it was a place of pilgrimage from the 3rd to 7th century.[17][18][19]

Kebara Cavern[edit]

The Kebara cavern, with 10 prehistoric layers of occupation, covering from middle Palaeolithic to late Mesolithic, is also within the Ramat Hanadiv region.[10]

Green Technology[edit]

In 1994, a special "Green Waste" recycling project was launched in Ramat Hanadiv, to serve as an example for gardening contractors, regional councils and municipalities. Forestry and gardening waste – branches, grass, leaves and others – are collected and processed into compost that is then reused for gardening.

A wastewater purification facility was installed at Ramat Hanadiv in 1998. This is a Bio-Disc type facility used for the purification of the wastewater generated by the office and public lavatories at the Gardens.

On 12 March 2008, Ramat Hanadiv's Visitors Pavilion became the first building in Israel to be granted standard certification for sustainable construction. The new Visitors Pavilion was designed by the architectural firm of Ada Karmi Melamede with the objective of making as little impact as possible on the environment.

Indoor climate control is provided by the region's first earth energy system, also known as a geothermal heat pump system, consisting of an electrically powered compressor and exchanger device connected to a series of small diameter pipes buried in the earth to create an energy exchanger through which heat energy can either be captured from inside the building and rejected into the earth, or reversed to capture heat energy from the earth and deposited into the building.

The Visitors Pavilion has been built as a green mound covered with soil and vegetation. It houses an assembly hall where visitors can watch a film on Ramat Hanadiv, a gallery displaying temporary exhibitions on themes relevant to the site, a lecture hall, education centre, refreshment stand and restaurant.


  1. ^ Mapa's concise gazetteer of Israel (in Hebrew). Yuval El'azari (ed.). Tel-Aviv: Mapa Publishing. 2005. p. 515. ISBN 978-965-7184-34-9.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  2. ^ Ramat Hanadiv Nature Park
  3. ^ Conder and Kitchener, 1882, SWP II, p. 71
  4. ^ Palmer, 1881, p. 154
  5. ^ Schumacher, 1888, p. 179
  6. ^ Sufian and LeVine, 2007, p. 32
  7. ^ Barron, 1923, Table XI, Sub-district of Haifa, p. 34
  8. ^ Yizhar Hirschfeld, Adrian J. Boas, (2000) Ramat Hanadiv Excavations: Final Report of the 1984–1998 Seasons Israel Exploration Society, ISBN 965-221-039-0
  9. ^ James H. Charlesworth (2006) Jesus and Archaeology Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, ISBN 0-8028-4880-X p 385
  10. ^ a b Dave Winter (1999) Israel handbook: with the Palestinian Authority areas Footprint Travel Guides, ISBN 1-900949-48-2 p 552
  11. ^ Peter Schäfer, Klaus Herrmann, Margarete Schlüter, Giuseppe Veltri (2003) Jewish Studies Between the Disciplines: Papers in Honor of Peter Schafer on the Occasion of His 60th Birthday translated by Klaus Herrmann, Margarete Schlüter and Giuseppe Veltri, BRILL, ISBN 90-04-13565-0 p 265
  12. ^ Book review of Yizhar Hirschfeld's Ramat Hanadiv Excavations: Final Report of the 1984–1998 Seasons reviewed by Ann E. Killebrew of The Pennsylvania State University
  13. ^ Peder Borgen, David Edward Aune, Torrey Seland, Jarl Henning Ulrichsen (2003) Neotestamentica Et Philonica: Studies in Honor of Peder Borgen BRILL, ISBN 90-04-12610-4 p 55
  14. ^ Jodi Magness (2003) The Archaeology of Qumran and the Dead Sea Scrolls Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, ISBN 0-8028-2687-3 p 98
  15. ^ Samuel Rocca (2008) Herod's Judaea: a Mediterranean state in the classical world Mohr Siebeck, ISBN 3-16-149717-1 p 224
  16. ^ Eliya Ribak (2007) Religious communities in Byzantine Palestina: the relationship between Judaism, Christianity and Islam, AD 400-700 Archaeopress, ISBN 1-4073-0080-6 p 48
  17. ^ Hagith Sivan (2008) Palestine in late antiquity Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-928417-2 p 5
  18. ^ Jerome Murphy-O'Connor The Holy Land: An Oxford Archaeological Guide from Earliest Times to 1700 Edition: 5, Oxford University Press US, ISBN 0-19-923666-6 p 444
  19. ^ Ramat Hanadiv Horvat 'Eleq (Khirbet Umm el-'Aleq)


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 32°32′52.7″N 34°56′39.29″E / 32.547972°N 34.9442472°E / 32.547972; 34.9442472