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Wadi Og

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Wadi Og

Nahal Og or Wadi Og (Hebrew: נחל אוג‎), or Wadi al-Muqallek, also spelled Wadi Muqallik (Arabic: وادي مكلك‎) is a winterbourne stream on the West Bank that drains the eastern slopes of the Mount of Olives range east of Jerusalem and runs for 30 km till the Dead Sea.[1][2] It is the northernmost of the streams that flow from the Judaean Desert into the Dead Sea.[1]

Name

The Hebrew name of the stream is derived from the local sumac plant (Rhus tripartita), that grows in the wadi, which is named Og in Hebrew.[2][3]

Course and geography

Course

The wadi (seasonal stream) drains the slopes of the Mount of Olives, Mount Scopus and Abu Dis in Jerusalem at 800 m above sea level and descends till the Dead Sea at 400 m below sea level.[3] The steepness of the stream results in heavy flooding during the winter,[1] and in the past, parts of Highway 90 have been swept away.[4][5] The stream sweeps mud and debris along with the water and sometimes during flooding times it is possible to see a trail of mud, hundreds of meters long, in the waters of the Dead Sea.[6]

Ruins of the Monastery of Theoctistus

On the course of the wadi are the ruins of the Monastery of Theoctistus, known in Arabic as Deir Muqallik.[7] They are hard to access, being situated quite high on the steep northern bank of the wadi at the spot where the valley deepens, turning into a canyon.[7] According to Byzantine sources, it was established in the 5th century by Euthymius and Theoctistus.[7] Archaeologists confirm that the main phase of the cave church complex and related structures date back to the 5th-7th century, the monastery's 'golden era', with signs of a far less significant habitation period during the Early-Mid Muslim period in the 7th-11th or 12th century.[7] The cave church complex was established at the beginning of the 5th century, and at the end of the 8th the monastery was deserted.[7]

Lower course landmarks

At the foothills of the Judean mountains the stream passes by the Muslim shrine of Nabi Musa.[6] In the plain, before reaching the Dead Sea, it also passes next to the kibbutz and Israeli settlement of Almog.[2] Here, towards the end of the stream, a reservoir was built which stores waters from the floods that is used by Almog.[6]

Panorama of Wadi Og from Og Lookout

References

  1. ^ a b c Nahal Og (Og Stream) at Israel Traveler
  2. ^ a b c Nahal Og at Afek Family Travels
  3. ^ a b Nahal Og at Dead Sea Guide
  4. ^ Israelis Welcome Rain at Israel National News
  5. ^ Floods make some people's day, ruin others' at Haaretz
  6. ^ a b c Israel goes "from Red Line to Black" as the water crisis worsens at The Jerusalem Post
  7. ^ a b c d e Goldfus, Haim (HUJI); Arubas, Benny (HUJI); Alliata, Eugenio (SBF) (1995). "The Monastery of St. Theoctistus (Deir Muqallik)". LA (45): 247–292. Retrieved 8 July 2019.

Coordinates: 31°46′39″N 35°25′40″E / 31.7775°N 35.4278°E / 31.7775; 35.4278