"The rocky ascent to Tel Tzafit, thought to be the biblical city of Gath, is dotted with colorful foliage leading to a panoramic lookout over the length and breadth of the Holy Land."
Archaeologist Aren Maeir (left) supervises at an 830 BCE destruction layer at the Tel Tzafit/Gath Archaeological Project, July 2018. (Amanda Borschel-Dan/Times of Israel)
"In its heyday, however, Gath was the biggest city in the Land of Israel. It is also one of the largest archeological sites in the country. Excavations directed by Maeir at Tel Tzafit had been taking place for nearly 25 years when the COVID-19 pandemic struck and the digs were halted.
Today Tel Tzafit, between Ashkelon and Beersheba, is a national park, with a circular trail lined with natural vegetation and a variety of wildflowers, animals and birds.
While both the ascent and the descent are rocky and can be difficult even with hiking poles, it is worth the effort if you can manage the walk. From the top of the hill there is a rare and breathtaking view of Israel from Ramallah in the north to Gaza in the south, east to the Central Hills, past Hebron in the southeast, and all the way west to Tel Aviv and the Mediterranean Sea."
This article was written by AVIVA AND SHMUEL BAR-AM for the Times of Israel