Publications / Site Guides


PACE’s Site Guides give detailed information about a site or village concerning history, description of the different sites of a place or the site itself and shows the latest developments in the village or place.

Nabi Musa
16 pages. English, French & Arabic versions. 2 US$

Excerpt

Maqam al-Nabi Musa is a splendid example of early Islamic architecture set in an awe inspiring landscape. It lies in the heart of the Judean Desert, about 30 km east of Jerusalem.

A narrow road to the right of the main Jerusalem – Jericho Road, about 2 km beyond the sign indicating sea level, leads to this grand domed building which is held to be the burial place of Moses according to local tradition. Although, according to the Old Testament (Deuteronomy 34), Moses never entered Palestine, the ‘Promised Land’, but rather died at Mount Nebo in modern day Jordan.


Sebastia (Samaria)
16 pages. English & French versions. 2 US$.

Excerpt

Sebastia is located 10 km northwest of Nablus. The ancient royal city (Sebastia or Samaria) lies in ruins on the hilltop, overlooking the village of Sebastia from the west at an altitude of 430m above sea level. One can reach Sebastia from two directions, preferably via the Nablus – Jenin Road leading to the western gate and the colonnaded street.

The other route runs through the modern village and leads to the forum. The city benefited from its location at the junction of two important ancient trade routes:

the mountainous Nablus North of Palestine route, and the Palestinian coast – Jordan Valley route. It also benefited from its fertile plateaus. This strategic location compensated for its scarce water resources.


Tell Balata (Shechem)
16 pages. English & French versions. 2 US$.

Excerpt

The ancient Canaanite city of Shechem (Tell Balata) lies 67 km north of Jerusalem and about 1.5 km east of the centre of modern Nablus. The ruins of the city occupy a tell of about 50 donums, rising some 525 m above sea level and 25 m above the fertile plateau of Askar.

This plateau starts at the edge of the Gerizim and Ebal Mountains and descends east towards the Jordan valley and represented the economic foundation of Nablus. Shechem, meaning shoulder or high place, was the first name for Nablus.

It was called Shechem by the Canaanites, who settled the area from the middle of the 3rd millennium BC. The site is locally called Tell Balata, after the modern Palestinian village of Balata to the east.

The tell is strategically positioned at the junction of two important ancient commercial routes, one of them connecting the coast to the Jordan valley, and the other mountainous route connecting northern Palestine to the south.


Beitin (Bethel)
32 pages. English, Arabic & French versions. 2.50 US$.

Excerpt:

The historic Palestinian village of Beitin is only three kilometers northeast of Ramallah, and 18 kilometers north of Jerusalem. It can be reached from the main Jerusalem-Nablus Road.

Immediately after departing the city of al-Bireh, Beitin will be found on the left hand side of the road. About one kilometer on the old Jericho Road, the road branches eastwards to the centre of the village and continues from there to the villages of Dair Dibwan (Tell ?Ai) and Burqa.

Beitin can also be reached through the Ramallah bypass road which was recently constructed to serve the Israeli settlements of Ofra, Psagot and Bet El.

This bypass road begins at the main Jerusalem-Ramallah road near Qalandiya airport and continues to 'Uyun al-Haramiyeh (Burglars’ Springs) where it rejoins the old Nablus-Jerusalem Road.


Tulul Abu al-Alayeq (Herod’s Winter Palace)
16 pages. English & French versions. 2 US$

Excerpt

Tulul Abu al-Alayeq are situated at the southern entrance of the modern city of Jericho along Wadi al Qelt. The site is known locally as Tulul Abu al ‘Alayiq, 2 km south of Tell al Sultan.

The Tulul are several low mounds on both sides of the Wadi, containing remains from different periods. They can be reached from the main Jerusalem – Jericho Road at the point where Wadi al Qelt meets with the plain of Jericho.

Before crossing the bridge above the Wadi, a narrow road turns west, leading to the mounds just right the road leading to St. George’s Monastery. They can also be reached via the old Jerusalem road which descends from Wadi al Qelt.


The Fraidees Mountain (Herodion)
16 pages. English & French versions. 2 US$.

Excerpt

The Herodion, Arabic Jabal al Fraidees, is located 10 km east of Bethlehem and 15 km south of Jerusalem.
It can be reached via the road that passes Bait Sahur to Takou’ village. The mountain rises 758 m above sea level, overlooking Jerusalem and Bethlehem, the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea from the east.

The mountain and most of its buildings were constructed in the Early Roman Period, the reign of Herod the Great (37 4 BC). The work was completed around 20 BC.

It is the only work of Herod that bears his name. The palace was inherited by Herod’s son Archelaus who governed Palestine between 4 BC and AD 6. After his death, the palace was turned to the Roman governors of Palestine.


Aboud
32 pages. Arabic version. 2.50 US$.

Excerpt

Aboud is a traditional Palestinian historic village of about 2000 inhabitants, the majority of whom are Christians of different denominations. The village is located at about 30km.

northwest of Jerusalem, at an elevation of 450m above sea level. Half of its area is mountainous and the other part is agricultural land which is used to cultivate fruit trees especially grapevines and olives. It is the only village in the area where Christians have remained for hundreds of years.

During the Islamic era, both Arab Muslim and Christian families moved to Aboud and lived there together till now in harmony, and the village became a symbol of coexistence between religions. During its history, the village was known by different names, in the Old Testament it is mentioned as Tibna or Timna Haris.

Aboud was also called the Holy Village of Mary, (Sitti Mariam), and the City of Roses. The oldest hint of the village can be found in an Aramaic inscription in the Vatican Library which mentions the names of three monks from the village.


Bani Zaid
32 pages. Arabic version . 2.50 US$.

Excerpt

The small Palestinian town of Bani Zaid, which consists of two smaller villages - Beit Rima and Deir Ghasanah, is located 27km northwest of Ramallah at an elevation of approximately 510m above sea level.

From this position, Bani Zaid overlooks the entire central Palestinian coast and, on a clear day, one can see the planes landing and taking off from the Lud airport and the ships in the port of Jaffa.

Bani Zaid belongs administratively and economically to the governorate of Ramallah-al-Bireh and is connected with the city by major main road. The name Bani Zaid in Palestine dates back to the Ayubid period.

When Saladin liberated Jerusalem from the Crusaders in 1187, his army included of a number of Arab tribes, including the Bani Zaid. Saladin garrisoned this army in the holy city of Jerusalem because the Crusaders had previously expelled the Arab population of Jerusalem when they occupied it in 1099.

The Bani Zaid tribe was stationed on a particular street in Jerusalem, which was named after them at the time but has been renamed over time. This street is located right next to al-Sa’idia Street in Jerusalem.

To encourage the various Arab tribes to stay in Palestine after its liberation, Saladin offered those tribes lands in different villages overlooking the coast, where the Crusaders still occupied the land. But many tribes did not move into these villages until the final expulsion of the Crusaders from Palestine in 1293 at the hands of the Mamluk Sutlans.


Jifna
32 pages. Arabic version. 2.50 US$

Excerpt

The scenic Palestinian village of Jifna, with its many historical buildings, is only 8 km north of Ramallah, 23 km from Jerusalem. It has no more than a thousand inhabitants and is bordered on the west with Birzeit and from the east is the village of 'Ain Sinia.

The Jalazon refugee camp, which was built on its land in the early 1950s, is just south of the village and connected to it with a road. The houses of the village are concentrated on the slopes of a mountain and in a beautiful all year long green valley.

It is situated at the intersection of two important ancient trade routes, the mountainous north-south route and the east-west route connecting the Jordan Valley with the coast. The total land area of the village is 6015 donums, 420 donums of which are designated for building, while more than 2000 are grown with olive and fruit trees.


'Atara
32 pages. Arabic version. 2.50 US$

Excerpt

'Atara is a small Palestinian village of around 2000 inhabitants. It is located 15 km northwest of Ramallah and can be reached by car from the Birzeit road.

It is situated on 4 mountains ranging from 810 to 880 meters above sea level. The village overlooks the Palestinian coast and commands the entire area around it. In a clear day one can see Mount Hermon (Jabal al-Sheikh) from the village.

The closest town to 'Atara is Birzeit and they are separated by a bridge which was constructed by the Israeli Army in the mid 1980s over the bypass road serving the settlements of Halmish and Ateret.

Both of which are build on land confiscated from 'Atara and the neighbouring village of Umm Safa. The total land area of the village is around 9545 donums, most of which is cultivatable land.


al-Jib (Gibeon)
36 pages. Arabic & English versions. 2.50 US$.

Excerpt

The historic Palestinian village of al-Jib is 12 km (8 miles) northwest of Jerusalem and 6km southwest of Ramallah. It can be reached from the main Jerusalem-Nablus Road, at al Ram junction, where a road leads westward to the village of Bir Nabala and then to al-Jib.

This road is known locally as the Biddo Road and connects with the Jerusalem-Jaffa (Tel Aviv) road to the west. About 4 kilometers past al-Ram junction, the traveler should turn left towards the centre of the village, and from there continue uphill to a parking lot at the southern edge of the village. From there one takes the foot road south towards the excavated area opposite the village’s cemetery.

Tell al-Jib, or Tell al-Ras as the natural hill south of the village is locally called, rises 750 meters above sea level. It is a huge mountain of 160 donums of land (160,000 square meters). The tell commands two plains; the western plain which is known in the Old Testament by the name Ayalon Valley, meaning the valley of deer, and the eastern plain.

The Jerusalem–Jaffa road cuts through the Ayalon Valley, while the eastern plain includes the historical spring of the village, 'Ain al-Balad, or 'Ain al-Natuf. The two wide plains were extensively cultivated in the past, and constituted the breadbasket of al-Jib.