Monday, July 20, 2009

I Have a Tree (Who Counts?)

The ruins of Tel Megiddo are 5000 years old!
we visited them when we have been in Israel.
It has been ruined and rebuilt so many times in history (between twenty and thirty cites have been built here, one on top of the ruins of the other) that it had become a "mountain" of ruins from different times ("tel" in Hebrew). A place of strategic importance (don't ask me why) it has been the location of many great battles and in the New-Testament the name Har Megiddo ("The mount of Megiddo") has been changed to Armageddon and prophesied as the place where the armies of good and evil will fight at the end of days (I hope they don't ruin the beatiful archeological site).

Tel Megiddo is 7000 years old

The main attraction of this site is an underground water tunnel that you can walk in. The depth of this tunnel is about 200 stairs... Sorry no elevator in the olden days or now (although they have a wheel chair ramp access)...
Sure, I was nervous about it, after all claustrophobia is my second name. But this one was an easy one and although we needed to go down about 250 stairs or so, inside it was pretty open and wide.
Another thing that made it nice in the tunnel was that it was cold while the outside temperature was 35 degrees Celsius (which translates to "Mexican border hot" in American Fahrenheit). Consider that Tel Meggido ruins with this outside temperature, is not exactly the best place to visit with a kid like Perry, who like most of all to be comfortable and you will understand that the water tunnel was a relief for everybody. In the tunnel he could even use his flash light ... main attraction or not?

Moshe and Perry escape to the air conditioning area
- through the 300 or so stairs.

Let's leave for a moment the importance of 9000 years old ruins site, and this amazing water system attraction (How did they make it back then ???!!!), take a look at this hill with all these old palm trees and the landscapes you see from it. Isn't it amazing?

The view from Tel Meggido toward the Jezreel Valley,
The city of Nazareth and Mount Tabor
( the mountain in the middle of the view)

For those of you who don't understated Hebrew - I must confess:
My name "Tamar" means a date/a palm tree in Hebrew and I found myself quite promoting this image in my work.
So I feel like I had to clear this out in advance since I'm simply in love with this tree (Is it considered too Narcissistic?)
So when I saw these palm trees in Tel Megiddo I was thrilled!

Back in Eugene I took this inspiring experience in Tel Megiddo and put it to a new set of The Seven Species that the Hebrew Bible lists as the species of the land of Israel - " land of wheat and barley, and vines and fig-trees and pomegranates; a land of olive-trees and honey" (Deutronomy 8:8) Don't tell me the palm tree is not one of them! The "honey" is produced from the dates.
I had so much fun illustrating each of them, with the different greens and shapes of the leaves and the warmer colors for the fruits and grains. I added to these the "Biblical" sandy background. It was like experiencing again, in a different way, the 10,000 year old ruin sites we have visited in our trip to Israel.

In truth, Tel Megiddo is over 5000 years old.

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