Travel & Food


Arum palaestinum as a Food-Medicine

A numerous records and a vibrant future


exhibit toxicity consequently a ways constrained to most cancers cells. Future segment 1 and section two scientific trials are crucial to totally recognize 

pharmacokinetics in human beings and to doubtlessly display scientific efficacy in human populations

Arum palaestinum Boiss is a widely used botanical in Traditional Arabic Palestinian natural medicine, the place it has been used to give a boost to bones and deal with cancer, parasites, infections, and many different maladies. Recent work demonstrates anticarcinogenic motion each in vitro and in vivo, and that work is coupled with a proof-of-principle mechanism of motion statistics displaying induction of the pro-apoptotic protein, caspase-6. The information to date is strongest for an Arum palaestinum extract that has been fortified with isovanillin, linolenic acid, and β-sitosterol, parts that are endemic to a crude water extract of Arum palaestinum. Safety records concerning toxicity are encouraging. Acute dosing animal research and in vitro studies, which evaluate results on cancerous and wholesome cell lines, 

arum palaestinum

Physical traits and taxonomy

Arum Palaestinum Boiss. is a flowering perennial species inside the household Araceae, additionally recognised by means of its frequent identify as Solomon’s lily,1 and frequently referred to in literature as black calla lily.2 Arum Palaestinum’s membership in the large botanical household of Araceae is sizable from an ethnobotanical perspective, as this household is coming to be considered as a in particular prosperous supply of medicinal botanicals.3

Arum palaestinum is protected in the genus Arum L, alongside with Arum italicam Mill. (commonly acknowledged as Italian lords and ladies), and Arum maculatum L (known as cuckoo pint).4 Species of Arum have been in the Mediterranean place for millennia, and are represented in engraved drawings in the temple of Thutmose III in Karnak as flowers that have been added to Egypt from Canaan in 1447 BCE.5

Arum Palaestinum is recognizable by using its red-brown/purple spadix and spathe of darkish crimson. The association of its leaf blades speaks to a typically used, aptly descriptive title in Arabic that interprets to “elephant ear” ,5 whilst its seeds are identifiable by means of their shiny pink shade.

arum palaestinum

Arum palaestinum as a food-medicine

Arum palaestinum has an eclectic history as both a food and a medicine. As is often the case, its use does not fit neatly into one or either category exclusively, but rather reflects its wide use as a food-medicine. According to Yaniv,5 the de-stemmed leaves, cooked with lemon or sorrel, are considered a delicacy by Arabs, who also traditionally esteem the plant as a medicine for the treatment of cancer, for the killing of worms in animals and humans, as a means to strengthen bones, as a treatment for infections in open wounds, and as a treatment for kidney stones. Additional sources confirm its use as a traditional Arabic medicine in the treatment of cancer, internal bacterial infections, poisoning, and disorders of the circulatory system, and refer to Arum palaestinum as a botanical used in Traditional Arabic Palestinian herbal medicine.6,7, Arum palaestinum is revered as a treatment for skin sores, syphilis, rheumatism, tuberculosis, diarrhea, and stomach worms.5

The measurable anticarcinogenic effects of the fortified extract of Arum palaestinum are accompanied by an understood mechanism of action that could apply across multiple types of solid tumors. 

According to a 2008 ethnobotanical study of edible plants within 5 rural districts of the Palestinian Authority, where preservation of the traditional knowledge of wild edible plants would be expected to be best maintained, Arum palaestinum was identified as one of the species rated highest for its cultural importance, a reflection of the diversity of ways in which an item is used as a food (eg, a vegetable, an herbal tea), and was cited by over half of those surveyed as a wild plant used for a food purpose.8 Consistent with a combined food-medicine use, Arum palaestinum is described in this survey as a food that is prepared by the leaves boiled in water, fried in olive oil, garnished with lemon, and consumed because of the belief that the plant helps prevent colon cancer. Also, in terms of contemporary use as a Complementary/Alternative Medicine (CAM), a 2011 questionnaire administered to a Palestinian cohort of 372 patients with cancer found that 43.5% of the cohort reported use of Arum palaestinum, making the plant the most commonly used CAM therapy among the cohort.9

Materials and Methods

To identify phytochemicals in Arum palaestinum reported to exert anticarcinogenic action, the author conducted a review of the peer-reviewed literature, using PubMed Central (PMC) and PubMed and the following search terms: Arum palaestinum, black calla lily, cancer, ethnobotany, and Traditional Arabic Palestinian herbal medicine. The author also reviewed the recently published in vitro and in vivo literature related to the anticarcinogenic activity of an extract of Arum palaestinum fortified with isovanillin, linolenic acid, and β-sitosterol, constituents that are endemic to a crude water extract of Arum palaestinum. Finally, the author reviewed mechanism of action and safety data published to date.


As reviewed above, Arum palaestinum has extensive historical use as a food-medicine, with one of the most extensive traditional uses being as an herbal medicine used to treat cancer. When individual chemical constituents from the major chemical categories of Arum palaestinum are surveyed and connected to published literature, it is seen that a substantial number of the phytochemicals in Arum palaestinum show anticarcinogenic activity in their own right. Moreover, an extract of Arum palaestinum fortified with isovanillin, linolenic acid, and β-sitosterol shows very promising action against prostate cancer cells in vitro and in a mouse model. The anticancer potential of Arum palaestinum, combined with other emerging areas of therapeutic interest, such as preliminary evidence suggesting potential antinociceptive properties,47 portends an exciting future in the research of this botanical with an already rich ethnobotanical past.


  1. Arum palaestinum TSN 811045. Integrated Taxonomic System Information System Online Database. Accessed August 14, 2018.
  2. El-Desouky SK, Kim KH, Ryu SY, et al. A new pyrrole alkaloid isolated from Arum palaestinum Boiss. and its biological activities. Arch Pharm Res. 2007;30(8):927-931.
  3. Chen J, Henny RJ, Liao F. Aroids are important medicinal plants. Acta Hortic. 2007; 756:347-354.
  4. Arum TSN 42543. Integrated Taxonomic System Information System Online Database. Accessed August 14, 2018.
  5. Yaniv Z, Dudai N, eds. Medicinal and Aromatic Plants of the Middle-East. New York, London: Springer Dordecht Heidelberg; 2014.
  6. Bashar S, Omar S. Greco-Arab and Islamic Herbal Medicine: Traditional System, Ethics, Safety, Efficacy, and Regulatory Issues. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons; 2001:56,305,331.
  7. Husein AI, Ali-Shtayeh MS, Jondi WJ, et al. In vitro antioxidant and antitumor activities of six selected plants used in the Traditional Arabic Palestinian herbal medicine. Pharm Biol. 2014;52(10):1249-1255.
  8. Ali-Shtayeh MS, Jamous RM, Al-Shafie’ JH, et al. Traditional knowledge of wild edible plants used in Palestine (Northern West Bank): a comparative study. J Ethnobiol Ethnomed. 2008;4:13.
  9. Ali-Shtayeh MS, Jamous RM, Salameh NM, et al. Complementary and alternative medicine use among cancer patients in Palestine with special reference to safety-related concerns. J Ethnopharmacol. 2016;187:104-122.
  10. Abu-Reidah IM, Ali-Shtayeh MS, Jamous RM, et al. Comprehensive metabolite profiling of Arum palaestinum (Araceae) leaves by using liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry. Food Res Int. 2015;70:74-86.
  11. Jaradat N, Abualhasan M. Comparison of phytoconstituents, total phenol contents and free radical scavenging capacities between four Arum species from Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Pharmacol Sci. 2016;22 (2):120-125.
  12. El-Desouky SK, Kim KH, Ryu SY, et al. A new pyrrole alkaloid isolated from Arum palaestinum Boiss. and its biological activities. Arch Pharm Res. 2007;30(8):927-931.
  13. Afifi FU, Khalil E, Abdalla S. Effect of isoorientin isolated from Arum palaestinum on uterine smooth muscle of rats and guinea pigs. J Ethnopharmacol. 1999;65(2):173-177.
  14. Cole C, Burgoyne T, Lee A, et al. Arum Palaestinum with isovanillin, linolenic acid and β-sitosterol inhibits prostate cancer spheroids and reduces the growth rate of prostate tumors in mice. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2015;15:264.
  15. Nagaprashantha LD, Vatsyayan R, Singhal J, et al. Anti-cancer effects of novel flavonoid vicenin-2 as a single agent and in synergistic combination with docetaxel in prostate cancer. Biochem Pharmacol. 2011;82(9):1100-1109.
  16. Knobloch TJ, Uhrig LK, Pearl DK, et al. Suppression of pro-inflammatory and pro-survival biomarkers in oral cancer patients consuming a black raspberry phytochemical-rich troche. Cancer Prev Res. 2016;9(2):159-171.
  17. Shay J, Elbaz HA, Lee I, Zielske SP. Molecular mechanisms and therapeutic effects of (−)-epicatechin and other polyphenols in cancer, inflammation, diabetes, and neurodegeneration. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2015;2015:181260.
  18. Ye T, Su J, Huang C, et al. Isoorientin induces apoptosis, decreases invasiveness, and downregulates VEGF secretion by activating AMPK signaling in pancreatic cancer cells. OncoTargets Ther. 2016;9:7481-7492.
  19. An F, Wang S, Tian Q, et al. Effects of orientin and vitexin from Trollius chinensis on the growth and apoptosis of esophageal cancer EC-109 cells. Oncol Lett. 2015; 10(4):2627-2633.
  20. Czemplik M, Mierziak J, Szopa J, et al. Flavonoid C-glucosides derived from flax straw extracts reduce human breast cancer cell growth in vitro and induce apoptosis. Front Pharmacol. 2016;7:282.
  21. Liu K, Cho YY, Yao K, et al. Eriodictyol inhibits RSK2-ATF1 signaling and suppresses EGF-induced neoplastic cell transformation. J Biol Chem. 2011;286(3):2057-2066.
  22. Ma L, Peng H, Li K, et al. Luteolin exerts an anticancer effect on NCI-H460 human non-small cell lung cancer cells through the induction of Sirt1-mediated apoptosis. Mol Med Rep. 2015;12(3):4196-4202.
  23. Yang G, Wang Z, Wang W, et al. Anticancer activity of Luteolin and its synergism effect with BCG on human bladder cancer cell line BIU-87 [in Chinese]. Zhong nan da xue xue bao Yi xue ban. 2014;39(4):371-378.
  24. Yang Y, Wolfram J, Boom K, et al. Hesperetin impairs glucose uptake and inhibits proliferation of breast cancer cells. Cell Biochem Funct. 2013;31(5):10.1002/cbf.2905.
  25. Tanagornmeatar K, Chaotham C, Sritularak B, et al. Cytotoxic and anti-metastatic activities of phenolic compounds from Dendrobium ellipsophyllum. Anticancer Res. 2014;34(11):6573-6579.
  26. Moore J, Yousef M, Tsiani E. Anticancer effects of rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis L.) extract and rosemary extract polyphenols. Nutrients. 2016;8(11):731.
  27. Reis M, Ferreira RJ, Serly J, et al. Colon adenocarcinoma multidrug resistance reverted by Euphorbia diterpenes: structure-activity relationships and pharmacophore modeling. Anticancer Agents Med Chem. 2012;12(9):1015-1024.
  28. Reyes-Zurita FJ, Rufino-Palomares EE, García-Salguero L, et al. Maslinic acid, a natural triterpene, induces a death receptor-mediated apoptotic mechanism in caco-2 p53-deficient colon adenocarcinoma cells. PLoS ONE. 2016;11(1):e0146178.
  29. Ku CY, Wang YR, Lin HY, et al. corosolic acid inhibits hepatocellular carcinoma cell migration by targeting the VEGFR2/Src/FAK pathway. PLoS ONE. 2015;10(5):e0126725.
  30. Musa MA, Cooperwood JS, Khan MOF. A review of coumarin derivatives in pharmacotherapy of breast cancer. Curr Med Chem. 2008;15(26):2664-2679.
  31. Ali I, Wani WA, Haque A, et al. Glutamic acid and its derivatives: candidates for rational design of anticancer drugs. Future Med Chem. 2013;5(8):961-978.
  32. Rosenfeld CS. Antileukemic activity of phenylalanine methyl ester (PME): a lysosomotropic peptide methyl ester. Stem Cells. 1994;12(2):198-204.
  33. Wattenberg LW. Inhibition of neoplasia by minor dietary constituents. Cancer Res. 1983;43(5 Suppl):2448s-2453s.
  34. Narisawa T, Fukaura Y, Yazawa K, et al. Colon cancer prevention with a small amount of dietary perilla oil high in alpha-linolenic acid in an animal model. Cancer. 1994; 73(8):2069-2075.
  35. Roy S, Rawat AK, Sammi SR, et al. Alpha-linolenic acid stabilizes HIF-1 α and downregulates FASN to promote mitochondrial apoptosis for mammary gland chemoprevention. Oncotarget. 2017;8(41):70049-70071.
  36. Kim MO, Lee MH, Oi N, et al. [6]-shogaol inhibits growth and induces apoptosis of non-small cell lung cancer cells by directly regulating Akt1/2. Carcinogenesis. 2014; 35(3):683-691.
  37. Pyun BJ, Choi S, Lee Y, et al. Capsiate, a nonpungent capsaicin-like compound, inhibits angiogenesis and vascular permeability via a direct inhibition of Src kinase activity. Cancer Res. 2008;68(1):227-235.
  38. Rosendahl AH, Perks CM, Zeng L, et al. Caffeine and caffeic acid inhibit growth and modify estrogen receptor and insulin-like growth factor I receptor levels in human breast cancer. Clin Cancer Res. 2015;21(8):1877-1887.
  39. Yuan L, Wei S, Wang J, et al. Isoorientin induces apoptosis and autophagy simultaneously by reactive oxygen species (ROS)-related p53, PI3K/Akt, JNK, and p38 signaling pathways in HepG2 cancer cells. J Agric Food Chem. 2014; 62(23):5390-5400.
  40. Yuan L, Wang J, Xiao H, et al. MAPK signaling pathways regulate mitochondrial-mediated apoptosis induced by isoorientin in human hepatoblastoma cancer cells. Food Chem Toxicol. 2013;53:62-68.
  41. Bhardwaj M, Cho HJ, Paul S, et al. Vitexin induces apoptosis by suppressing autophagy in multi-drug resistant colorectal cancer cells. Oncotarget. 2017;9(3):3278-3291.
  42. Sramkoski RM, Pretlow TG, Giaconia JM, et al. A new human prostate carcinoma cell line, 22Rv1. In Vitro Cell Dev Biol Anim. 1999;35(7):403-409.
  43. Yoo NJ, Kim MS, Park SW, et al. Expression analysis of caspase-6, caspase-9 and BNIP3 in prostate cancer. Tumori. 2010;96(1):138-142.
  44. Shahali A, Ghanadian M, Jafari SM, et al. Mitochondrial and caspase pathways are involved in the induction of apoptosis by nardosinen in MCF-7 breast cancer cell line. Res Pharm Sci. 2018;13(1):12-21.
  45. Wu XX, Kakehi Y. Enhancement of lexatumumab-induced apoptosis in human solid cancer cells by cisplatin in caspase-dependent manner. Clin Cancer Res. 2009;15(6):2039-2047.
  46. Ben-Arye E, Samuels N, Goldstein LH, et al. Potential risks associated with traditional herbal medicine use in cancer care: a study of Middle Eastern oncology health care professionals. Cancer. 2016;122(4):598-610.
  47. Qnais E, Bseiso Y, Wedyan M, et al. Evaluation of analgesic activity of the methanol extract from the leaves of Arum palaestinum in mice and rats. Biomed Pharmacol J. 2017;10(3):1159-1166.


Nablus Soap Production

The production of soap is a very old tradition in the Middle East: it is based primarily on the production of olive oil. At first a domestic production, the soap industry developed in urban centers: the most famous are Aleppo in Syria, Tripoli in Lebanon, and Nablus in Palestine. Throughout the Ottoman period, big families of the urban bourgeoisie acquired the main soap factories located in the city center of Nablus. In the nineteenth century, the soap industry became the dominant economic sector of the city: owning a soap factory became a symbol of wealth, prestige, and urban belonging.

Process of Making Soap

The few Nablus soap factories that have remained operational follow more or less the same manufacturing process (except for some minor changes) that was developed two centuries ago. It is a five-step process—cooking, laying, cutting, drying, and packaging—supported by four different teams of workers.

At the ground floor of the soap factory, olive oil (the main ingredient) mixed with caustic soda and water is placed in a large bowl (halla) and “cooked” for three days. (In the first half of the twentieth century, caustic soda, imported from Alexandria and Europe, replaced the qeli, a plant turned into ashes.) Under the tank, a boiler helps the process of saponification. Once the mixture is ready, the head of the team tastes the soap or crumbles it on his hand to check its texture. Then porters carry the mixture in buckets and pour it on a designated section of the first floor (mafrash), where it dries for a day before being shaped into small cubes, stamped with the brand of the soap factory, and cut by a team of three to four trained workers. A day later, the same workers pile the pieces of soap into pyramids (tananir). The soap then dries for two to three months. Another team packages the soap, wrapping it in a paper with the brand of the soap factory. These workers pack an average of 500 to 1,000 bars of soap per hour.

In the heyday of soap production in Nablus, factories were registered companies with brand names and a printed logo on the soap wrapping paper. These brands were often symbols or names of animals; examples include muftahein (the two keys), al-jamal (the camel), al-na‘ama (the ostrich), al-najma (the star), al-baqara (the cow), al-badr (the full moon), and al-assad (the lion). Slogans were added on the packaging such as al-sabun al-Nabulsi al-mumtaz (Nablus soap extra) or al-ma‘ruf (the well-known).

Decline of Soap Production in Nablus before 1948

By 1930, Nablus soap production had experienced its first important setback. Several reasons are usually given for this decline. Egypt and Syria, which were major markets for Nablus soap (especially Egypt), imposed taxes on imported soap. Nablus soap was competing with soap production in Egypt. The label “Nabulsi” attached to the soap was not protected, and as a result, counterfeiting took place. This, coupled with the rise in the price of pure olive oil after the Great Depression of 1929, contributed to raise the price of Nablus soap, making it difficult for Nablus producers to compete with other imported soaps. In addition, Jewish mechanized industry, which also succeeded to obtain customs benefits from the British Mandate, provided local competition.

This first soap crisis reveals the effects, though indirect, of Jewish immigration in the region of Nablus, hitherto relatively protected from the consequences of the Zionist colonization. In general, the absence of a sovereign state capable of controlling borders and taxes meant that Nablus soap was unprotected, while at the same time the British Mandate granted customs benefits to the Zionists traders, and Egypt and Syria were able to impose barriers to protect their local production.

After 1948, the market of historic Palestine closed; so too did the Egyptian market. The East Bank of the Jordan River (Jordan) became the main market for Nablus soap. Soap producers were gradually forced to import olive oil from Syria and Lebanon, and secondarily from Spain and Italy.

Transformation and Final Decline of the Soap Industry

In the 1950s Hamdi Kan‘an, brother-in-law of the soap producer and trader Ahmad Shaka‘a, introduced in Nablus what was called “green soap,” a soap made from jift (solid remains of first press olives, mainly kernels) oil: it was a lower quality soap used to wash the floor and do the laundry. This was a small revolution. Indeed, the exploitation of this new, much cheaper type of oil allowed less wealthy families to rent soap factories and mass-produce household soap. During the 1970s, production of this “second class” soap (which quickly took the generic name of “Kan‘an”), developed rapidly. But it also helped some soap factory workers to become small manufacturers; they rented soap factories in the old city and started to produce soap. At this time, some soap factories tried to mechanize and “develop” the Nablus soap in its form, packaging, and ingredients. Another change (a consequence of the Israeli occupation of 1967) is that all kinds of oils started to be used.

Despite the attempts by some in the soap industry to transform production and adapt to the changing circumstances, the soap industry experienced a steady regression during the second half of the twentieth century, and the first intifada marked the final decline. Small factories producing green soap were already being marginalized by the introduction of detergents and washing machines and cheaper foreign products (like Lux and Palmolive). They could not compete, nor could they afford the new taxes imposed on the soap: their lack of capital prevented them from maintaining their production. Moreover, since the first intifada, soap production became harder to maintain, because the old city was the target of Israeli attacks, and many soap factories thus closed in the 1990s.

In summary, cheaper foreign products as well as the introduction of new consumption patterns brought about the decline of the soap industry in Nablus. Of the more than thirty soap factories in the old city of Nablus, several were damaged by the Israeli invasion of 2002 and two of them completely destroyed; most of the rest have been abandoned or put to other uses. For example, the Arafat soap factory is being developed into a cultural center for children; some producers are using perfumes and mechanization to produce new soaps to keep the tradition of soap making in Nablus alive. Since 2007 only two soap factories have remained functional in Nablus, and they belong to the Tuqan and Shaka‘a families, who keep them as a heritage. These factories export the vast majority of their production to Jordan, taking advantage of long-standing relationships with the distributors on the East Bank of the river and the importance of the Palestinian population in Jordan. From there, a small part of the production is sent to Kuwait and the Gulf.

Selected Bibliography

Bahjat, Mohammad, and Rafiq Tammimi. Wilayat Bayrut: al-qism al-janubi [The Province of Beirut: Its Southern Part]. Beirut: al-Iqbal Press, 1916.

Bontemps, Véronique. “Soap-Factories in Nablus. Palestinian Heritage (Turâth) at the Local Level.” Journal of Balkan and Near-Eastern Studies 14, no.2 (2012): 279–295.

Bontemps, Véronique. Ville et patrimoine en Palestine. Une ethnographie des savonneries de Naplouse. Paris: Karthala/IISMM, 2012.

Doumani, Beshara. Rediscovering Palestine, Merchants and Peasants in Jabal Nablus (1700–1900). Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1995.

Graham-Brown, Sarah. “The Political Economy of the Jabal Nablus, 1920–1948.” In R. Owen, ed., Studies in the Economic and Social History of Palestine in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1982.

Jaussen, Antonin.  Naplouse et son district. Paris: Geuthner, 1927.

Sharif, Husam. Sina‘at al-sabun al-Nabulsi [The Nabulsi Soap Industry]. Nablus: Palestinian Authority: Municipality of Nablus, 1999.

Taher, Ali Nusuh. Shajarat al-zaytun. Tarikhuha, zira’atuha, amraduha, sina‘atuha [The Olive Tree: Its History, Culture, Diseases and Production]. Jaffa, 1947.


Endurance in the Fertile Crescent
Jericho, located in the West Bank region of the Middle East, is the oldest continuously inhabited city on the planet.

The Fall of Jericho from Gates of Paradise, by Lorenzo Ghiberti © Bill Ross/CORBIS
History and Environment
Jericho’s 14,000-year survival is a direct result of biological and geological advantages that explain why a settlement was established there in the first place. This essay explores the idea that the history of a place is just as much about its physical environment as it is about superior technology or government. Big historians, who are interested in the appearance and development of the first agrarian civilizations, ask probing questions: What were the geographical and biological advantages favoring certain regions that facilitated the appearance of the first towns and cities there? What role did climate play in allowing for agrarian civilizations to appear in some regions, while others remained better suited for foraging? And why is it that, while some agrarian civilizations seem to have abused their environments, and thus sowed the seeds of their own destruction, others were able to husband the advantages provided by geography and biology and successfully sustain themselves for thousands of years?
To illustrate this critical relationship between history and its environmental context, we use the city of Jericho as a case study. Jericho is the oldest city on the planet, situated today in the West Bank region of the Middle East. The location and long-term survival of the city is an excellent example of the impact of the environment on human history. The establishment of Jericho 14,000 years ago resulted from the same geographical and biological factors that led to the most significant revolution in all human history — the appearance of agriculture.

Hisham Palace in Jericho © Atlantide Phototravel/CORBIS

To remind ourselves just how revolutionary this transition was, let’s consider the situation some 15,000 years ago. Humans had by then occupied every continent on the globe except Antarctica. Every single human, wherever they lived, survived by foraging, also known as hunting and gathering. Humans had invented a wide array of foraging techniques specifically adapted to different environments, which ranged from the deserts of Australia to the Arctic ice. But the small size of most foraging bands, and the fact that few exchanges took place between them, limited the amount of collective learning that went on

But then something changed! Between 11,000 and 10,000 years ago, new lifeways and technologies associated with farming began to appear. Farming eventually gave humans access to more food and energy; consequently, humans began to multiply more rapidly and live in larger communities like villages, towns, and eventually cities. These processes led to an entirely new level of complexity in the human condition. The transition to agriculture was the first step in a cultural revolution that utterly transformed human societies and drove our species onto a path that led rapidly toward the astonishing complexity of the modern world. And one of the most significant steps in the early stages of that process was the emergence of large settlements like Uruk and Tenochtitlan — and Jericho.To explore the history of Jericho we need first to take a look at the role of climate change in encouraging humans to make this transition to farming, particularly in the Fertile Crescent. Then we need to consider the Natufian people, who were some of the first humans to adopt farming and also were the founders of the small foraging base that went on to become the city of Jericho. Next we need to ask, why there? What particular geological and biological advantages did Jericho have that not only explain why it was established where it was but also account for its longevity? We conclude with a closer look at events in Jericho, further evidence of the importance of environmental factors in the rich tapestry of human history.


Dead sea fact

10 Dead sea facts you didn’t know
Almost everyone knows that The Dead Sea, a salt lake shared between Palestine and Jordan, is one of the world’s most unique sites in the world, but did you know these interesting facts about it? Check yourself

Dead sea

Planning a trip to Palestine? You probably won’t miss the Dead Sea. But what do you really know about it? Here are some interesting facts about this natural wonder:

  1. Why is it salty?
    The Dead Sea’s salinity is 34.2% (compare with the Mediterranean’s 3.5%). It is the fourth saltiest body of water in the world, ranking behind Antarctica’s Don Juan Pond and Lake Vanda, and Djibouti’s Lake Assal. One of the reasons for the high salinity is that the Dead Sea doesn’t pour out. Additionally, the arid desert climate causes evaporation, increasing salinity.
dead sea
  1. Is it possible to drown in it?
    Although whoever enters the water immediately floats, you should keep in mind that it is still possible to drown in the Dead Sea. This happens when swimmers get caught in strong winds, flip over and swallowing the salty water. Always make sure to only enter proclaimed beaches, in the presence of a lifeguard.
  2. Can you dive in it?
    Believe it or not, you can also dive in the Dead Sea! It takes unique diving skills, and those who possess them will enjoy spectacular geological salt formations.
  1. Why is it called The Dead Sea?
    The high salinity means that no life can evolve in the Dead Sea, which gave it the moniker “Sea of Death”. But are there absolutely zero life forms in the Dead Sea? Not exactly. Some bacteria and fungus can survive in these waters.
  2. Does it have other names too?
    The Dead Sea has the most names of any other place in Palestine. It is known as the Sea of Death, Sea of Salt, Sea of the Arabah, the Primordial Sea, and many others.
  3. How low is it?
    The beaches of the Dead Sea are located 430 meters below sea surface, making it the lowest place in the world.
  1. How big is it?
    The Dead Sea stretches over 51 KM and is 18 KM from side to side at its widest.
  2. Why is it so popular?
    The Dead Sea is a popular tourist destination for many reasons, one of which is its medicinal values. The water of the Dead Sea contains 26 beneficial minerals, and the air contains minimal amounts of dust and allergens compared to other places in the world. , many rub themselves with the black mud found at its banks, which is said to relief different skin issues.
  3. Is it one of the Seven World Wonders?
    Due to its unique qualities, the Dead Sea was a finalist in the Seven World Wonders contest.