"Horvat Hanot Ruins" Matta` Things to Do Tip by iblatt
Matta` Things to Do: 2 reviews and 10 photos
On the ridge above Matta, near the road, there is a small but interesting ruin. It is called Horvat Hanot, and used to serve as a road station along the ancient route climbing from the Ella Valley to Jerusalem. The ruins of the building date from the Mamluk period (13th-14th century), and also include a water cistern and a wine press.
The ruin was excavated in 1986, and to the archaeologists' surprise they found more ancient remains: a well preserved mosaic floor from a Byzantine church dating from the 6th century AD. Contrary to the usual procedure of transporting the mosaic floor to an archaeological museum, they decided to leave this mosaic floor in place, and only cover it with sand for protection.
When you visit the ruin you are welcome to use a brush (there is one on site, but to be sure you can bring a sweeping brush or a broom with you!), sweep the sand aside and uncover the beautiful mosaic floor. We did that, and the excitement of revealing more and more of the mosaic was well worth the effort!
Directions: Off Route 375, near Matta. Always open, free entrance.
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