The Judaean Mountains, or Judaean Hills (Hebrew: הרי יהודה
Harei Yehuda, Arabic: جبال الخليل Jibal Al Khalil), is a
mountain range in
Israel and the
West Bank where
Jerusalem and several
other biblical cities are located. The mountains reach a height of
1,026 metres (3,366 ft). The Judean Mountains can be separated
to a number of sub-regions, including the
Mount Hebron ridge, the
Jerusalem ridge and the Judean slopes. These mountains formed the
heartland of the Kingdom of Judah, where the earliest Jewish
2 Geology and history
6 External links
The range runs in a north south direction from
Galilee to the Negev
with an average height of 900 metres (2,953 ft). The Judaean
mountains encompass Jerusalem, Hebron,
Bethlehem and Ramallah. The
range forms a natural division between the
Shephelah coastal plains to
the west and the
Jordan Rift Valley
Jordan Rift Valley to the east. The northern section,
Ramallah area, is also known as Samarian Hills, while the
middle section is also referred to as '
Judaean Mountains were heavily forested in antiquity. The range is
mostly composed of terra rossa soils over hard limestones.
Geology and history
Judaean Mountains are the surface expression of a series of
monoclinic folds which trend north-northwest through Israel. The
folding is the central expression of the Syrian Arc belt of anticlinal
folding that began in the
Late Cretaceous Period in northeast Africa
and southwest Asia. The Syrian Arc extends east-northeast across the
Sinai, turns north-northeast through
Israel and continues the
east-northeast trend into Syria. The Israeli segment parallels the
Dead Sea Transform
Dead Sea Transform which lies just to the east. The uplift
events that created the mountain occurred in two phases one in the
Oligocene and second in the Early Miocene.
In prehistoric times, animals no longer found in the
were found here, including elephants, rhinoceri, giraffes and wild
Asian water buffalo. The range has karst topography including a
stalactite cave in Nahal Sorek National Park between
Beit Shemesh and the area surrounding Ofra, where fossils of
prehistoric flora and fauna were found.
In ancient times the Judean mountains were the allotment of the Tribe
of Judah and the heartland of the former Kingdom of Judah.
Israel Railways line runs from
Beit Shemesh along the Brook of
Valley of Rephaim into
Jerusalem Malha Train Station.
Elah Valley (Wadi es-Ṣur) near
Adullam with the Judean mountains in
The Judean Hills viewed from the Dead Sea
View from hilltop overlooking Wadi es-Ṣur, an extension of the Elah
Valley in Israel
Beit Meir in the Judaean Mountains
Idyllic scene in the Judean mountains, overlooking the Arab village,
The ruined structure of an ancient house, near Neve Michael
^ a b c Peter N. Peregrine,
Melvin Ember (ed.). Encyclopedia of
Prehistory: South and Southwest Asia. 8. Retrieved 2012-02-13.
^ Judaean_Mountains - Mapcarta
Jerusalem Hills - Mapcarta
^ Arieh Singer (2007). The Soils of Israel. Springer. pp. 129,
^ E. Abd El-Motaal and T.M. Kusky, 2003, Tectonic Evolution of the
Intraplate S-Shaped Syrian Arc Fold-Thrust Belt of the Middle East
Region in the Context of Plate Tectonics, The Third International
Conference on the Geology of Africa, Vol. (2), pp. 139-157
^ Flexer A (1989). "
Late Cretaceous evolution of the Judean Mountains
as indicated by ostracodes". Terra Nova. 1: 349–358.
^ Bar, Oded; Zilberman, Ezra; Feinstein, Shimon; Calvo, Ran;
Gvirtzman, Zohan (2016). "The uplift history of the Arabian Plateau as
inferred from geomorphologic analysis of its northwestern edge".
Tectonophysics. 671: 9–23. doi:10.1016/j.tecto.2016.01.004.
^ "History of
Jerusalem from Its Beginning to David". Biu.ac.il.
1997-03-06. Retrieved 2012-02-13.
^ "Cambridge History of Judaism". Cambridge.org. p. 210.
Retrieved 16 August 2011. "In both the Idumaean and the Ituraean
alliances, and in the annexation of Samaria, the Judaeans had taken
the leading role. They retained it. The whole
political–military–religious league that now united the hill
country of Palestine from Dan to Beersheba, whatever it called itself,
was directed by, and soon came to be called by others, 'the Ioudaioi'"
^ A History of the Jewish People, edited by Haim Hillel Ben-Sasson,
page 226, "The name Judea no longer referred only to...."
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Judaean Mountains.
Media related to
Judaean Mountains at Wikimedia Commons
Judaean Mountains & Jerusalem
Symbolism and Landscape: The Etzion Bloc in the Judaean Mountains,
Yossi Katz and John C. Lehr
National parks of Israel
City of David1
Tomb of Samuel1
Beit Alfa Synagogue
Horns of Hattin
Monument to the
Tel Be'er Sheva
Judea and Samaria Area
1 Located in the Israeli-oc