Archaeology Magazine

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

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Battir's Terraces Could Be Named a World Heritage Site

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

BatirPhoto by IdobiBATTIR, WEST BANK—An ancient terraced landscape in the Palestinian village of Battir, located near Bethlehem, is expected to be declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO. But environmentalists and Israel’s nature and parks authority say that the planned route of the security barrier, right through a valley between the terraces, will destroy it. According to Gidon Bromberg of Friends of the Earth Middle East, this agricultural landscape is “one of the earliest examples of terraced agriculture, and continues today in basically the same state. Around half a billion stones were collected generation after generation, repaired after every winter season, expanded over time.”