Richard Nowitz

The steep slopes of the hills in Samaria (south of Galilee) did not deter ancient farmers, who constructed these tiers of flat earthern terraces on the hillsides. Stone retaining walls (visible in the photo) support the terraces. Behind the walls, layers of soil and gravel trap rainwater and direct the overflow down to the terraces below, minimizing erosion. Although many scholars have suggested that early settlers in Galilee constructed similar terraces, Zvi Gal’s survey indicates that they farmed small plots of land surrounding springs and wadis.