Israel Department of Antiquities and Museums

Building wall converted into terrace wall. The lower courses of square cut (ashlar) stones were originally part of an ancient structure at Ein Yalu, a Second Temple period village whose name means Spring of Yalu. Later, a crudely built wall was superimposed on the ashlar stones to create a terrace wall.

After building the terrace walls, the farmer still had a great deal of work to do before he could plant a crop. First he made a gravel fill behind the terrace wall. Then he spread a layer of gravel on the bedrock, then a layer of soil, then more gravel or stones, and finally a layer of organic soil. Thus layered, the terraced field could soak up rainwater and surplus water would flow through the gravel and stones to the terrace below.