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Monday, April 16, 2018
Video: Interactive “Sanhedrin Trail” in Honor of the 70th Anniversary of the State of Israel

The Interactive “Sanhedrin Trail” is Presented
Antiquities Authority Official Channel
Uploaded on Apr 15, 2018

Students who participated in preparing a trail as a gift to the nation
discovered a 1,400 year old oil lamp bearing a symbol of a menorah. On the
occasion of Independence Day, the Israel Antiquities Authority is opening
the Sanhedrin Trail – a unique interactive trail that thousands of young
people are preparing and excavating, and will be presented to the country in
honor of our 70th year of independence. The trail will be accompanied by a
unique web application that will serve as a readily accessible “independent
guide” in the spectacular landscapes of the Galilee, and will offer a
different sort of hiking experience for families, individuals and groups.

The trail stretches across the Lower Galilee and is 70 km long (in five
walking segments). It is dedicated to 70 great people, the Sanhedrin sages
who rehabilitated the Jewish people following the Bar Kokhba Revolt, and is
presented to the State of Israel and its citizens as a gift for the 70th
year, in a series of free activities along the route and in events attended
by thousands of school children.

Dozens of large “smart” stones, each constituting a kind of relay station
situated along the trail, will transmit relevant useful information and
activities directly to the hikers’ mobile telephones. The new web
application that “communicates” with the stones offers information about the
recent and ancient history of the Galilee, flora and fauna, landscape,
observation points and attractions. The application, which is currently in
an advanced stage of development, is already operational today, and it is
now possible to use it while hiking along parts of the trail. Details
(Hebrew) at www.shvila.co.il.

The IAA’s educational-tourism flagship project is being implemented in
cooperation with the Ministry of Jerusalem and Heritage – Landmarks Project,
Ministry of Finance, National Religious Education Administration (Hemed) and
the Shelah Department of the Ministry of Education, municipalities, local
and regional councils, Nature and Parks Authority, Jewish National Fund and

As part of preparing the trail, and symbolically before the 70th anniversary
of Israel’s independence, the youth are revealing our story – a story of the
rebirth of the Jewish people, in archaeological excavations at Horbat Usha,
the first place where the Sanhedrin relocated after the Bar Kokhba revolt
and where Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi, codifier of the Mishnah, spent his childhood.
The students uncovered material remains from the time of the Sanhedrin:
evidence of the glass industry that is also mentioned in rabbinical texts,
as well as ornamental items dating back 1,800 years. A particularly special
surprise that was discovered while excavating the trail was an intact oil
lamp decorated with the menorah symbol, dating to the Byzantine or Umayyad
periods. According to Dr. Einat Ambar-Armon, an archaeologist with the
Israel Antiquities Authority and an expert on ancient clay lamps, “Unlike
the modern day symbol of the state in which the Temple’s menorah is depicted
with seven branches and a single broad base, the menorah engraved on the
ancient lamp has eight branches and a three-legged base. The discovery of a
lamp decorated with a menorah, a symbol of the Jewish people, is without
doubt exciting, especially at a site with such a unique heritage in part of
the Sanhedrin Trail”. Another fascinating discovery that occurred during in
the excavation of the trail is that of Ilai Yonah, a student at Ha-Moshava
High School in Zikhron Ya?akov, who found a gold coin on the trail – only
two others exist in the State Treasures – bearing an inscription of the
sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, builder of Jerusalem’s city walls.

The Sanhedrin settled in Usha, and then moved on to Shefar?am, Bet She’arim
and Zippori until it was finally established in Tiberias. The route the
Sanhedrin Trail follows is divided into sections for the convenience of
hikers; it crosses the Galilee along nature sites and through magnificent
landscape, such as Nahal Zippori, Yodfat, Mount Arbel, Mount Atzmon, etc.

According to Israel Hasson, director of the Israel Antiquities Authority,
“The new trail and the discoveries along it are a celebration for the
citizens of Israel on the occasion of 70 years of independence and a gift
from thousands of young people who invested so much of their energy in
developing it. This is a flagship project that connects the future
generation preparing the trail to its heritage and to the Jewish people’s
great and inspiring leaders. The trail is a groundbreaking endeavor
utilizing state-of-the-art technologies in order to connect with our roots.
The project will be further developed in the coming years, creating
continuity from the distant past to the future, which will be used by hikers
in Israel today and, hopefully, future generations as well".

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