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Author Assif
#1 | Posted: 4 Jun 2011 16:25 | Edited by: Assif 
I was tempted by winterkjm's recent review of South Korean tentative sites to survey current Israeli tentative sites and assess their chance of gaining an inscription. I've actually already reviewed most of them.

Triple Arch of Dan - hotly debated in this forum. Obviously there is some unknown problem blocking the otherwise quite reasonable inscription. (Yes)

Hula Valley - This was Israel's first nature reserve. A small pond was all that was left of a much larger lake that was dried for agricultural purposes. At least two endemics got extinct. I truly don't know whether Unesco would like to support this sort of policy even if it is now recognized as a historical mistake. The site is of large significance for many migratory birds moving from Europe to Africa and back. It was already proposed to Unesco and was referred with the suggestion to combine it with other sites along the migratory route in other countries such as Kenya. Interestingly, Kenya is now proposing its own Rift Valley. (No)

Jerusalem ext. - Mount Zion is not that special I think, but it is certainly an extention to the already inscribed old town. It does make sense to add it but only once political sensitivities in the area will be resolved. Until then it has no chance at all. (No)

Lake of Galilee and its old sites - This nomination was suggested as a mixed property. I can't see what's so special about the natural setting. Additionally, a large portion of the lake is in the Golan Heights which are internationally recognized as Syrian lands. Therefore, this nomination too has poor chances in the current political state. (No)

Routes of Jesus in the Galilee - Apart from being important to Christians religiously there is very little to offer along the suggested route. The only site I consider at least partially worthy is Seppheris but it seems it is not included. (No)

Hurvat Minnim - An Umayyad mansion that was ruined in an earth quake. It is now in ruins and doesn't seem to be well taken care of. I don't see any reason for insciption. (No)

Degania and Nahalal - These are examples of Wall and Tower settlements from the early 20th Century. They are special and modern so I guess that they stand a chance. (Yes)

Early synagogues of the Galilee - Synagogues are underrepresented and some of the sites are special (Tiberias, Capernaum, Seppheris, Baram) so I think this is a good one. (Yes)

Crusaders Castles - Most of these castles are in a very bad shape. Only one, Belvoir, still shows its fortification and inner structure clearly. On the other hand, there are very few sites which represent this important historic movement (Acre, Crac de Chevaliers) so perhaps due to historical reasons more than archaeological ones this nomination could succeed. This said, Jordan has much better crusader castles to offer (Montreal, Kerak). (No)

The White Mosque - Not much is left of this once magnificent mosque in Ramle. Now only its tower stands out with a few excavations around it. As there are quite a few mosques and muslim sites from this era (Umayyad) I don't think it stands a chance. (No)

Besan - This is a magnificent Roman city of an international level. It was the capital of the Decapolis union which made Unesco suggest a serial nomination with some other sites, all of which are in Jordan. (Yes)

Caesarea Maritima - An important Roman city and later a crusader city. It is very nice to visit but I don't think it would add anything exceptional to the already large presence of Roman sites on the list. If I had to chose I would certainly prefer Besan to Caesarea Maritima. (No)

Beth Govrin - Maresha - This year's candidate. It represents an extensive historical use of underground caves spanning from the Greek to the Byzantine periods. Nothing like Cappadocia but still interesting. (Yes)

Prehistorical sites of the Galilee - This is a serial nomination of three sites. They are aparently of high (pre)historical significance but it is very difficult for me to assess them by visiting them. According to what I read they hold several world records:
Shaar HaGolan was the central village of the Yarmukan culture, one of the most properous Neolithic cultures worldwide.
Ubadiyya held the earliest human remains outside Africa until a recent descovery in Georgia.
The Carmel Caves hold the most extensive Neanderthal skeleton in the world. One of the caves also features a burial site shared by Homo Sapiens and Neanderthal, the only one worldwide.
These sites don't have much in common so I doubt it if they could stand out as a single nomination. Nonetheless - (Yes)

Arbel Cliff - This site is proposed as a historical landscape with natural attributes. I don't know what's so special about the nature of this particular area. Historically this area knew a lot of changes - it had a medievil Jewish settlement, then there was the final battle between the Mameluk and the Crusaders and later th Druze settled there - but all these haven't truly left any remarkable imprints at least to my sight. (No)

Timna - Claimed to be the oldest mines in the world. I am not sure how scientific this statement really is. The natural landscape is beautiful, very similar to Wadi Rum in Jordan, which is candidating this year. If Wadi Rum succeeds I doubt if there should also be room for this one. I think Israel will have to put more emphasis on the mining landscape aspect for this nomination to stand a chance. (No)

Mount Karkom - The only T-site I don't know. Very isolated.

Makhteshim Country - The largest erosion cirques in the world. This phenomenon only appears in Sanai (Egypt) and Turkmenistan and it is not yet represented on the list so I think it should get inscribed. The problem with this nomination is that Israeli military uses most of this extensive area to practise... (Yes)

Beth Shearim - The only Jewish necropolis I know. Very impressive. (Yes)

Author winterkjm
#2 | Posted: 4 Jun 2011 20:45 
Interesting summary. I am suprised there might be another 7-8 potential WHS in Israel!

Author winterkjm
#3 | Posted: 12 Aug 2015 22:20 | Edited by: winterkjm 
Ein Karem, a village and its cultural landscape is perhaps the next Israel nomination according to this article. Seems to carry quote a bit of contested heritage, as Palestine disproves. h-judaism-christianity.html

Author Assif
#4 | Posted: 17 Jun 2016 11:08 
According to the following article an extension of Nahalal is underway which could obstruct its chances for inscription.,7340,L-4725703,00.html

Degania, on the other hand, seems to proceed towards nomination.,7340,L-4668374,00.html

Author Messy
#5 | Posted: 21 Jun 2016 08:59 
Additionally, a large portion of the lake is in the Golan Heights which are internationally recognized as Syrian lands.

None of the lake is in the Golan Heights, Knerret was always part of 1948 Israel. Syria demanded it when they had negotiations to return the Golan, and while they conceded on Haifa (the original demand in the negotiations was ALL of northern Israel), they decided to walk out when the Jewish state demmured on them giving the "Sea of Galillee" in return for a "cold peace" (no recognition).

Author Assif
#6 | Posted: 21 Jun 2016 13:33 | Edited by: Assif 
Additionally, a large portion of the lake is in the Golan Heights which are internationally recognized as Syrian lands.

You are right. I was imprecise. What I meant was the shore, part of which belongs to the Golan Heights. It would be difficult to argue for integrity leaving out portions of the beach and some archaeological sites.

Author Jurre
#7 | Posted: 17 May 2022 12:40 
Wander among the ancients at an Israeli world heritage site

An article about the Necropolis of Bet She'arim

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