Andrew Dahl

                                                                                                            Rel 260

                                                                                                           

Geography of the Samarian Hill Country

 

Specifics

-Area stretches from the coast of the Mediterranean Sea on the east to the Jordan River valley on the west.

-Additionally, the Jezreel valley lies to the north and the Aijalon valley lies to the south.

-The climate varies throughout consisting of fairly arid summers in some places and wetter climates in others.

-The average temperature sits around 63 degrees Fahrenheit and the annual precipitation is around 24”.

-Good farming conditions in the valleys produce a crop output that consists of wine, olives, plums, and various fruits.

 

Misconception

-Many Biblical stories and movies leave one with the impression that this area is identified as being largely a vast pastoral countryside.

-However, there are mountainous regions that cause for giant descents and ascents through gorges around a thousand feet deep.

 

Three Areas

-There are five general and identifiable areas in the Samarian Hills.  These are: 1)Mount Carmel in the northwest, 2) the Irron Hills in the center, 3) the East Samarian Fold in the southeast, 4) the Menashe region and, 5) the Nablus region.

-Valleys that open in different directions offer easy access to the center of Samaria despite the rocky, mountainous terrain found everywhere.

 

The East Samarian Fold

-Constant erosion has revealed sediment from as far back as the Lower Cretaceous period.

-In this region lies Mt. Sartaba (1,237 ft. above sea level).

 

The Nablus Syncline

-The central region of this area has the highest peaks in Samaria.  These are: Mt. Ebal (3,084 ft. above sea level) and Mt. Gerizim (2,890 ft. above sea level).

-Also, the largest tectonic valleys lie in the northern part of this region.  One of these valleys, the Sahl Arraba, is mentioned in the Bible as the sight where Joseph was sold by his brothers. 

-There are numerous villages and farming communities in this region due to the fertile soil. 

-The only urban center is Nablus with the small towns of Tlkarm and Jennin.

 

The Iron Hills

-This region is marked by large deposits of limestone and Cretaceous basalts and tuffs.

-Essentially, the region is a geologist’s dreamscape.

 

The Menashe Region

-This region borders Mount Carmel in the northwest and is generally in the shape of a plateau with an average height of about 650 ft.

-Also, precipitation is high in this region as it forms a type of passage to the sea where strong winds bring moisture to the land.

 

Mount Carmel

-Uplifted piece of land that stretches twenty miles long.

-Throughout this region are beautiful gorges created by waterways.

-Additionally, there are many karstic caves that apparently housed men from the Paleolithic and Neolithic eras.

-There are also biblical points of interest, particularly the prophet Elijah’s cave near Haifa.

-There is also fairly plentiful precipitation that results in differing kinds of vegetation.