There are 20 cities in Jericho, built one on top of the other. Jericho is thought to be amongst the oldest continually inhabited cities in the world, with over 11,000 years of history present. In the Bible, Jericho is known as City of Palm Trees”, and today this appears to be a fitting description.
Things to do in Jericho
Religious and archaeological tourism is the mainstay of Jericho’s economy. The ancient centre of the city is at Tell es-Sultan, the site of Stone, Bronze and Iron Age Settlements. Archaeologists working here have dated the circular stone city wall to 8,000 BC, with pottery finds even older.
Hisham's Palace was built as the Caliph’s winter palace in the middle of the 8th century AD. It was destroyed by an earthquake not long after it was built, but you can still see the remains of the mosque, royal buildings and water fountains. Many of the artefacts excavated here have been moved to the Rockefeller Museum, but the spectacular mosaic floors remain in situ.
A baby said to have been found in a reed basket, Moses was buried on Mount Nebo, just outside Jericho, and local folklore claims his body was then brought across the river and buried at the Maqam al Nabi Musa. The tomb complex is open to the public, where you can purchase protective amulets from the local Bedouin, made from the surrounding rocks.
Getting around Jericho
Buses run into central Jericho from Jerusalem, winding their way through the ancient suburban streets. You can also negotiate with local taxi drivers to take you to distant sites.