Tuesday, October 24, 2006

A Trip to Bet Guvrin

Over Sukkot, I went to Bet Guvrin National Park with some friends. (You can read all about the site’s history at the link I’ve just given, and there’s more information here.)

First, the view. A bit hazy, but beautiful nonetheless:

View from Bet Guvrin

One of Bet Guvrin’s many olive presses. First, the olives were placed in this stone basin; a donkey pulled the stone around and around, crushing them.

Olive press

Next, the crushed olives were placed in baskets, which were compressed upon each other with weights, causing the oil to run out. The compressed, empty baskets can be seen on the lower left side, in the background.

Olive press

A water cistern originally, this underground room was subsequently used as a columbarium—a place for raising pigeons for food or for sacrifice. Their dung was used as fertilizer. Soldiers of Anders’s Army chiseled the word “Warszawa”—Warsaw—in the stone in the center during World War II.

Stone in cistern

The skylight at the center of the columbarium, with pigeons:

Skylight with pigeons

What a way to take a bath! The bather sat or knelt on the low, rectangular stone while a person outside, probably a slave, poured water in from the outside. The water came out through a stone spout, the end of which can be seen on the upper right of the photo.

Bathing room

The spout:

Water spout

Back outside, a tree grows in Bet Guvrin.

Tree at Bet Guvrin

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are moderated. If you're a spammer, don't waste your keystrokes. If you're a real, honest-to-goodness commenter, welcome!