Sites, digs & tells
Israel is archaeology central, with a plethora of sites, digs and tells that cover the Persian, Byzantine, Roman, Hellenic periods. All of which can be seen on cultural vacations here. And not just dusty old ruins, we are talking full on cities being unearthed, and still being unearthed such as at Meggido, or masterful forts such as Masada, which was built by Herod the Great, and notorious for being the place where Zealots climbed up to, defeated the Romans and then, when threatened with re-capture, committed mass suicide. Another of Herod’s marks can be found, in a big way, at Caesarea, where you can still see its Roman port, aqueduct and magnificent amphitheatre. With 12th century Crusader city ruins thrown into the magnificent mix.
And then there is Jerusalem, of course, where the Old City surrounded by 17th century Ottoman walls, is divided into four Quarters: Muslim, Jewish, Armenian and Christian. Each with alleyways packed with archaeological wonders and buildings that are bursting to the seams with history. The Rockefeller Museum in East Jerusalem, formerly the Palestine Archaeological Museum, is as much a pilgrimage for archaeologists as the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is for Christians.