“Reconstruction of the sunset revealed to us that the shadow of the hill as the sun sets on the longest day of the year falls exactly on the Jericho tower, envelops the tower and then covers the entire village,” the researchers explained. “For this reason, we suggest that the tower served as an earthly element connecting the residents of the site with the hills around them and with the heavenly element of the setting sun.” Its construction may be related to the primeval fears and cosmological beliefs of the villagers, they note.
Tel Jericho, located in modern day Jericho in the West Bank, is one of the most ancient sites in the world. The eight and half meter tower, which was built with a steep flight of stairs approximately one meter wide, rises above a four-meter wall that probably encompassed the city. The existence of the tower led to Jericho’s identification as the first city in the world, even though it was in fact a settlement of pre-agricultural hunter gatherers.
Story: Physorg | Photo: American Friends of Tel Aviv University