ruins of Jericho (top). Situated in the desert of Judah, near
an oasis some 656 feet below sea level, Jericho grew up around
a powerful spring. In the seventh millennium the small Neolithic
village developed into a thriving city. The flimsy huts were
replaced by round houses build of mud bricks, on stone foundations
with floors well below the level of the ground outside. The
spectacular fortifications were built later: a stone wall five
feet thick reaching a height of over sixteen feet was built
within a deep trench.
Neolithic tower at Jericho (detail). The imposing circular stone
tower found within the fortifications still stands some twenty-six
feet high. The inner staircase of twenty-eight wide stone slabs
leads to the top. At the bottom of the steps a passage leads
to a door at the eastern side of the tower.
The Ancient World by Giovanni Garbini