What Should I Know About Jericho?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 07 September 2019
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Jericho is a Palestinian city in the West Bank which is famous for being one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, if not the oldest. Many people like to visit Jericho because it is rich in archaeological sites and Middle Eastern culture, and it is located near other sites of interest in both Israel and neighboring Jordan. Several companies offer guided trips through the region, for people who do not want to make their own arrangements.

The first human habitation in the region of Jericho was around 9,000 BCE, according to archaeological evidence. The city is uniquely positioned to take advantage of limited water resources in the area, and it is also well suited from the point of view of defense, because the city provides an excellent view of the Jordan River as it trickles into the Dead Sea. From the earliest days of the city, people grew a variety of crops to sustain themselves, and they traded with neighbors.

Visitors to Jericho can see a number of archaeological sites including a neolithic-era tower. Excavations on other sites have also uncovered traditional mud homes, ample amounts of pottery, arrowheads, beads, trading goods, stone and bone tools, and a wide assortment of synagogues, mosques, and other places of religious worship. Some of these items are preserved in situ, and relics from Jericho can also be seen in museums around the world.


This city is famous enough to be mentioned in the Bible multiple times, most notably in reference to the Siege of Joshua, when the walls of Jericho were destroyed. Archaeological evidence supports the idea that the city was destroyed at some point, though this may have been due to an earthquake, rather than invasion. Jesus also apparently visited Jericho, according to the Bible.

Like other West Bank cities, Jericho is not always a peaceful place to be, thanks to ongoing political turmoil in the region. The city has been occupied numerous times by a variety of forces, and some archaeologists have raised concern about the safety of the ancient sites in and around Jericho. People who are interested in visiting the region should do their research carefully and consider getting a skilled and experienced guide for safety and to make the trip more enjoyable.


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