Sataf – revival of ancient agriculture
Look carefully as you pass through the Judean Hills and you will notice man made terraces (very large steps…) on their slope. As you can see, the valley area is limited, so man improvised and created flat land for agriculture on the slopes of hills.
The beautiful site of Sataf is especially popular since it focuses on reviving the ancient methods of terrace farming. It is fascinating to watch water from these springs being channeled to different crops planted on these terraced fields. In the Mishna (Baba Batra 3:1 written 200 CE) fields irrigated in this manner were know as Bet Shalchin.
This site has two springs. Each one has a cave and tunnel for you to explore.
Ein Bechora. A 15 meter tunnel and then a climb up a big step into an underground room. Look (up) for remnants of stalagtites and (down) for stalagmites.
Ein Sataf. Above the Ein Sataf pool. Enter the cave from where the spring emerges and crawl through the narrow passageway to the outside world to the cheers (and cameras) of your friends.
The Sataf site is in the middle of the slope of the Eitan hill and the Nachal Sorek valley. There are many marked walking and hiking trails leading you through “bustanim” (orchards). There are three separate parking areas. I suggest parking at the upper Sataf parking area, and first enjoy the panoramic view of the hills. The site also has a restaurant, bathroom facilities, and information center. Then if you prefer, drive to the center parking lot which is near the springs. Right before the central parking lot, there is also a nice picnic area.
Located near Kibbutz Tzuba. Follow the signs to Sataf from the Sataf traffic circle - where route 395 meets the route 3965 from Mevaseret /Maoz Tzion.
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