A Visit to Tel Afek

Tel Afek is the name given to the remains of the ancient town of Aphik, as it is referred to in the Bible, which you can visit today at the Ein Afek Nature Reserve. It is also known as Tel Kurdani.

Below is an excerpt from an article written by Steve Kramer, author of Encountering Israel, who visited the nature reserve during an AACI (Association of Americans and Canadians in Israel) tour of the North of Israel in 2013.

Ein Afek Nature Reserve

"Approaching Haifa, Israel’s third largest city, we entered the adjacent Krayot, a conglomeration of several medium-sized towns built during British Mandate times but prohibited from merging with Haifa. (The British were intent on minimizing Jewish power by keeping it decentralized. The same tactic was used in Tel Aviv, where three smaller, separate cities weren’t allowed to be merged with Tel Aviv.) 

We entered the Ein Afek Nature Reserve, located in a marshy area in the region given to the Tribe of Asher after Joshua’s conquest of Canaan. The springs that feed the Na’aman Stream emerge in the reserve, where a lovely wooden walkway stretches above the wetlands through willow trees, bramble, and different types of reeds. In winter, when the water level rises, the reserve shelters pelicans, cranes, pygmy cormorants, gray herons and many other species of water fowl. We saw many large catfish in the shallow water, and a flock of kites flew nearby." 

Tel Afek

"In winter and spring, carpets of wildflowers can be seen from Tel Afek, on the low hill at the reserve’s edge. On the northern slope of the tel (a mound of archeological remains) is a two-story fortified Crusader flour mill, where water wheels and dams were used to produce power. The Templar Knights originally controlled the fort, and in modern times, the British built a Tegart Fort on top of the structure." 

"A Tegart Fort consists of fortified towers built of reinforced concrete, with water systems that would allow them to withstand a month-long siege. Dozens of these structures were built according to the same basic plan, on the border with Lebanon and Syria and at strategic intersections throughout Palestine." 

Return from Tel Afek to Western Galilee

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