[Mom – September 20, 2019 – Shane, Janice and I visited 3 World Heritage Sites today. Bill stayed back because he was feeling a little drained. It is a good thing because each site involved lots of climbing! The first site was the Bahá’í World Centre, a shrine, terrace and garden dedicated to the world’s most recent religion. From this site we got a beautiful view of the Mediterranean Sea. Our second site was the Nahal Me’arot Nature Reserve on Mount Carmel. It is home to a group of prehistoric caves in which humans supposedly lived for some 500,000 years. Because of its long-term habitation, it was declared a World Heritage Site in 2012. Our third visit was to Megiddo National Park. It was designated a World Heritage Site in 2005 because it is such a good example of a Bible City. Christian tradition identifies Megiddo as Armageddon, where the great battle of the End of Days will take place between the powers of good and evil. (Revelation 16:16) Megiddo had a 118 feet deep shaft that was hewn to supply water to the city. After walking to the top of the city, we were able to walk down the shaft.]
Day 14 of the three week trip I did in September with my parents through Israel and Jordan featured an entire day of places I had never been before and they were all World Heritage Sites. The first site was the Baha’i World Center (cover photo also), which is the name given to the spiritual and administrative center of the Baháʼí Faith. It is a religion teaching the essential worth of all religions, and the unity and equality of all people. It was established by Baháʼu’lláh in 1863 and has 5 and 8 million followers. While I did not understand much of the religion the gardens and temple were gorgeous, but as a non follower this is all you are allowed to see at this WHS. The Baha’i World Center is on the western slope of Mount Carmel in Haifa.
Our second stop was at nearby Nahal Me’arot Nature Reserve which consist of four caves in the Mount Carmel range that have been used by humans for half a million years. This provides a unique view of human evolution demonstrating the unique existence of both neanderthals and early humans within the same Middle Palaeolithic cultural framework. Not only were the caves used for habitation by hominins and prehistoric humans, but they also contain unique evidence of very early burials and early stone architecture representing the transition from a hunter-gathering lifestyle to agriculture and animal husbandry.
The final stop was Tel Megiddo, which is the site of the ancient city of Megiddo whose remains form a tell (archaeological mound). During the Bronze Age, Megiddo was an important Canaanite city-state and during the Iron Age, a royal city in the Kingdom of Israel. Megiddo drew much of its importance from its strategic location as a pass through the Carmel Ridge and from its position overlooking the rich Jezreel Valley from the west. The city had been inhabited from 7000 BC – 586BC and contains 26 different layers of ruins. The Greek name is Armageddon and is considered to be the location for the end of the world, thus armageddon now means end of the world. My two favorite parts of Megiddo are the 5000 year old round alter of sacrifice and a water system consisting of a square shaft 115 ft deep that goes to a tunnel bored through the rock for 330 ft to a pool of spring water. This was done so water could still be acquired during a siege.