This article is about the city in the West Bank. For other uses, see Jericho (disambiguation).
Other transcription(s)
  Arabic أريحا
  Hebrew יריחו

The city of Jericho from the ruins of the old walls

Municipal Seal of Jericho

Location of Jericho within the Palestinian territories

Coordinates: 31°52′16″N 35°26′39″E / 31.87111°N 35.44417°E / 31.87111; 35.44417Coordinates: 31°52′16″N 35°26′39″E / 31.87111°N 35.44417°E / 31.87111; 35.44417
Governorate Jericho
Founded 9600 BCE
  Type City (from 1994)
  Head of Municipality Hassan Saleh[1]
  Jurisdiction 58,701 dunams (58.701 km2 or 22.665 sq mi)
Population (2006)
  Jurisdiction 20,300
Name meaning "Fragrant"

Jericho (/ˈɛrɪk/; Arabic: أريحا Ariha [ʔaˈriːħaː]; Hebrew: יְרִיחוֹ Yeriho) is a city in the Palestinian Territories and is located near the Jordan River in the West Bank. It is the administrative seat of the Jericho Governorate, and is governed by the Fatah faction of the Palestinian National Authority.[2] In 2007, it had a population of 18,346.[3] The city was occupied by Jordan from 1949 to 1967, and has been held under Israeli occupation since 1967; administrative control was handed over to the Palestinian Authority in 1994.[4][5] It is believed to be one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world[6][7][8] and the city with the oldest known protective wall in the world.[9] It was thought to have the oldest stone tower in the world as well, but excavations at Tell Qaramel in Syria have discovered stone towers that are even older.[10][11]

Archaeologists have unearthed the remains of more than 20 successive settlements in Jericho, the first of which dates back 11,000 years (9000 BCE),[12][13] almost to the very beginning of the Holocene epoch of the Earth's history.[14][15]

Copious springs in and around the city have attracted human habitation for thousands of years.[16] Jericho is described in the Hebrew Bible as the "City of Palm Trees".[17]


Jericho's name in Hebrew, Yeriẖo, is generally thought to derive from the Canaanite word Reaẖ ("fragrant"), but other theories hold that it originates in the Canaanite word for "moon" (Yareaẖ) or the name of the lunar deity Yarikh for whom the city was an early centre of worship.[18]

Jericho's Arabic name, ʼArīḥā, means "fragrant" and also has its roots in Canaanite Reaẖ.[19][20][21][22]

History and archaeology

History of excavations

The first excavations of the site were made by Charles Warren in 1868. Ernst Sellin and Carl Watzinger excavated Tell es-Sultan and Tulul Abu el-'Alayiq between 1907–1909 and in 1911, and John Garstang excavated between 1930 and 1936. Extensive investigations using more modern techniques were made by Kathleen Kenyon between 1952 and 1958. Lorenzo Nigro and Nicolo Marchetti conducted excavations in 1997-2000. Since 2009 the Italian-Palestinian archaeological project of excavation and restoration was resumed by Rome "La Sapienza" University and Palestinian MOTA-DACH under the direction of Lorenzo Nigro and Hamdan Taha (

Stone Age: Tell es-Sultan and its spring

See also: Tell es-Sultan
For other uses, see Tell al-Sultan.

The earliest settlement was located at the present-day Tell es-Sultan (or Sultan's Hill), a couple of kilometers from the current city. In both Arabic and Hebrew, tell means "mound" - consecutive layers of habitation built up a mound over time, as is common for ancient settlements in the Middle East and Anatolia. Jericho is the type site for the Pre-Pottery Neolithic A (PPNA) and Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (PPNB) periods.

Natufian hunter-gatherers, c. 10,000 BCE

Epipaleolithic construction at the site appears to predate the invention of agriculture, with the construction of Natufian culture structures beginning earlier than 9000 BC, the very beginning of the Holocene epoch in geologic history.[8]

Jericho has evidence of settlement dating back to 10,000 BCE. During the Younger Dryas period of cold and drought, permanent habitation of any one location was impossible. However, the Ein es-Sultan spring at what would become Jericho was a popular camping ground for Natufian hunter-gatherer groups, who left a scattering of crescent-shaped microlith tools behind them.[23] Around 9600 BCE, the droughts and cold of the Younger Dryas stadial had come to an end, making it possible for Natufian groups to extend the duration of their stay, eventually leading to year-round habitation and permanent settlement.

Pre-Pottery Neolithic, c. 9500 BCE

Further information: Wall of Jericho and Tower of Jericho
Dwelling foundations unearthed at Tell es-Sultan in Jericho
Pre-Pottery Neolithic A (PPNA)

The first permanent settlement on the site of Jericho developed near the Ein es-Sultan spring between 9,500 and 9000 BCE.[24][25] As the world warmed up, a new culture based on agriculture and sedentary dwelling emerged, which archaeologists have termed "Pre-Pottery Neolithic A" (abbreviated as PPNA). PPNA villages are characterized by small circular dwellings, burial of the dead under the floor of buildings, reliance on hunting wild game, the cultivation of wild or domestic cereals, and no use of pottery yet. At Jericho, circular dwellings were built of clay and straw bricks left to dry in the sun, which were plastered together with a mud mortar. Each house measured about 5 metres (16 ft) across, and was roofed with mud-smeared brush. Hearths were located within and outside the homes.[26]

By about 9400 BCE, the town had grown to more than 70 modest dwellings.

The Pre-Pottery Neolithic A phase at Tell es-Sultan (ca. 8350 – 7370 BCE) is sometimes called Sultanian. The site is a 40,000 square metres (430,000 sq ft) settlement surrounded by a massive stone wall over 3.6 metres (12 ft) high and 1.8 metres (5 ft 11 in) wide at the base (see Wall of Jericho), inside of which stood a stone tower (see Tower of Jericho), over 3.6 metres (12 ft) high, containing an internal staircase with 22 stone steps[20][27] and placed in the centre of the west side of the tell.[28] This tower and the even older ones excavated at Tell Qaramel in Syria[10][11] are the oldest ever to be discovered. The wall may have served as a defence against flood-water, with the tower used for ceremonial purposes.[29] The wall and tower were built during the Pre-Pottery Neolithic A (PPNA) period around 8000 BCE.[30][31] For the tower, carbon dates published in 1981 and 1983 indicate that it was built around 8300 BCE and stayed in use until ca. 7800 BC.[28] The wall and tower would have taken a hundred men more than a hundred days to construct,[29] thus suggesting some kind of social organization. The town contained round mud-brick houses, yet no street planning.[32] The identity and number of the inhabitants of Jericho during the PPNA period is still under debate, with estimates going as high as 2000–3000, and as low as 200–300.[13][29] It is known that this population had domesticated emmer wheat, barley and pulses and hunted wild animals.

Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (PPNB)

Pre-Pottery Neolithic B, 7220 to 5850 BCE (but carbon-14-dates are few and early). Expanded range of domesticated plants. Possible domestication of sheep. Apparent cult involving the preservation of human skulls, with facial features reconstructed from plaster and eyes set with shells in some cases.

After a few centuries, the first settlement was abandoned. After the PPNA settlement phase, there was a settlement hiatus of several centuries, then the PPNB settlement was founded on the eroded surface of the tell. This second settlement, established in 6800 BCE, perhaps represents the work of an invading people who absorbed the original inhabitants into their dominant culture. Artifacts dating from this period include ten plastered human skulls, painted so as to reconstitute the individuals' features.[20] These represent either teraphim or the first example of portraiture in art history, and it is thought that they were kept in people's homes while the bodies were buried.[8][33]

The architecture consisted of rectilinear buildings made of mudbricks on stone foundations. The mudbricks were loaf-shaped with deep thumb prints to facilitate bounding. No building has been excavated in its entirety. Normally, several rooms cluster around a central courtyard. There is one big room (6.5 m × 4 m (21.33 ft × 13.12 ft) and 7 m × 3 m (22.97 ft × 9.84 ft)) with internal divisions, the rest are small, presumably used for storage. The rooms have red or pinkish terrazzo-floors made of lime. Some impressions of mats made of reeds or rushes have been preserved. The courtyards have clay floors.

Kathleen Kenyon interpreted one building as a shrine. It contained a niche in the wall. A chipped pillar of volcanic stone that was found nearby might have fit into this niche.

The dead were buried under the floors or in the rubble fill of abandoned buildings. There are several collective burials. Not all the skeletons are completely articulated, which may point to a time of exposure before burial. A skull cache contained seven skulls. The jaws were removed and the faces covered with plaster; cowries were used as eyes. A total of ten skulls were found. Modelled skulls were found in Tell Ramad and Beisamoun as well.

Other finds included flints, such as arrowheads (tanged or side-notched), finely denticulated sickle-blades, burins, scrapers, a few tranchet axes, obsidian, and green obsidian from an unknown source. There were also querns, hammerstones, and a few ground-stone axes made of greenstone. Other items discovered included dishes and bowls carved from soft limestone, spindle whorls made of stone and possible loom weights, spatulae and drills, stylised anthropomorphic plaster figures, almost life-size, anthropomorphic and theriomorphic clay figurines, as well as shell and malachite beads.

In the late 4th millennium BCE, Jericho was occupied during Neolithic 2 and the general character of the remains on the site link it culturally with Neolithic 2 (or PPNB) sites in the West Syrian and Middle Euphrates groups. This link is established by the presence of rectilinear mud-brick buildings and plaster floors that are characteristic of the age.

Bronze Age

This section deals with the archaeology of Bronze Age Jericho; for the Biblical battle, see Battle of Jericho

A succession of settlements followed from 4500 BCE onward, the largest constructed in 2600 BCE.[20]

Jericho was continually occupied into the Middle Bronze Age; it was destroyed in the Late Bronze, after which it no longer served as an urban centre. The city was surrounded by extensive defensive walls strengthened with rectangular towers, and possessed an extensive cemetery with vertical shaft-tombs and underground burial chambers; the elaborate funeral offerings in some of these may reflect the emergence of local kings.[34]

During the Middle Bronze Age, Jericho was a small prominent city of the Canaan region, reaching its greatest Bronze Age extent in the period from 1700 to 1550 BCE. It seems to have reflected the greater urbanization in the area at that time, and has been linked to the rise of the Maryannu, a class of chariot-using aristocrats linked to the rise of the Mitannite state to the north. Kathleen Kenyon reported "...the Middle Bronze Age is perhaps the most prosperous in the whole history of Kna'an. ... The defenses ... belong to a fairly advanced date in that period" and there was "a massive stone revetment... part of a complex system" of defenses (pp. 213–218).[35] Bronze-Age Jericho fell in the 16th century at the end of the Middle Bronze Age, the calibrated carbon remains from its City-IV destruction layer dating to 1617–1530 BCE. Notably this carbon dating c. 1573 BCE confirmed the accuracy of the stratigraphical dating c. 1550 by Kenyon.

Iron Age

Tell es-Sultan remained unoccupied from the end of the 15th to the 10th-9th centuries BCE, when the city was rebuilt.[36][37][38] Of this new city not much more remains than a four-room house on the eastern slope.[39] By the 7th century, Jericho had become an extensive town, but this settlement was destroyed in the Babylonian conquest of Judah in the late 6th century.[36]

Persian and Early Hellenistic periods

After the destruction of the Judahite city by the Babylonians in the late 6th century,[36] whatever was rebuilt in the Persian period as part of the Restoration after the Babylonian captivity, left only very few remains.[39] The tell was abandoned as a place of settlement not long after this period.[39] During the Persian through Hellenistic periods, there is little in terms of occupation attested throughout the region.[36]

Jericho went from being an administrative centre of Yehud Medinata ("the Province of Judah") under Persian rule to serving as the private estate of Alexander the Great between 336 and 323 BCE after his conquest of the region. In the middle of the 2nd century BCE Jericho was under Hellenistic rule of the Seleucid Empire, when the Syrian General Bacchides built a number of forts to strengthen the defences of the area around Jericho against the revolt by the Macabees.[40] One of these forts, built at the entrance to Wadi Qelt, was later refortified by Herod the Great, who named it Kypros after his mother.[41]

Hasmonean and Herodian periods

Further information: Jericho royal winter palaces

After the abandonment of the Tell es-Sultan location, the new Jericho of the Late Hellenistic or Hasmonean and Early Roman or Herodian periods, was established as a garden city in the vicinity of the royal estate at Tulul Abu el-'Alayiq and expanded greatly thanks to the intensive exploitation of the springs of the area.[39] The new site consists of a group of low mounds on both banks of Wadi Qelt.[36] The Hasmoneans were a dynasty descending from a priestly group (kohanim) from the tribe of Levi, who ruled over Judea following the success of the Maccabean Revolt until Roman influence over the region brought Herod to claim the Hasmonean throne.[42]

The rock-cut tombs of a Herodian- and Hasmonean-era cemetery lie in the lowest part of the cliffs between Nuseib al-Aweishireh and Jabal Quruntul in Jericho and were used between 100 BCE and 68 CE.[41]

Herodian period

Remains from Herod's palace

Herod had to lease back the royal estate at Jericho from Cleopatra, after Mark Antony had given it to her as a gift. After their joint suicide in 30 BCE, Octavian assumed control of the Roman Empire and granted Herod absolute rule over Jericho, as part of the new Herodian domain. Herod's rule oversaw the construction of a hippodrome-theatre (Tell es-Samrat) to entertain his guests and new aqueducts to irrigate the area below the cliffs and reach his winter palaces built at the site of Tulul Abu el-Alaiq (also written 'Alayiq).[41] In 2008 the Israel Exploration Society published an illustrated volume of Herod's third Jericho palace.[43]

The dramatic murder of Aristobulus III in a swimming pool at the winter palaces near Jericho, as described by the Roman Jewish historian Josephus, took place during a banquet organized by Herod's Hasmonean mother-in-law. After the construction of the palaces, the city had functioned not only as an agricultural center and as a crossroad, but also as a winter resort for Jerusalem's aristocracy.[44]

Herod was succeeded in Judea by his son, Herod Archelaus, who built a village in his name not far to the north, Archelaïs (modern Khirbet al-Beiyudat), to house workers for his date plantation.

First-century Jericho is described in Strabo's Geography as follows:

Jericho is a plain surrounded by a kind of mountainous country, which in a way, slopes toward it like a theatre. Here is the Phoenicon, which is mixed also with all kinds of cultivated and fruitful trees, though it consists mostly of palm trees. It is 100 stadia in length and is everywhere watered with streams. Here also are the Palace and the Balsam Park."[41]

In the New Testament

Jesus healing a blind man in Jericho, El Greco

The Christian Gospels state that Jesus of Nazareth passed through Jericho where he healed one (Mark 10:46, Luke 18:35) or two (Matthew 20:29) blind beggars, and inspired a local chief tax-collector named Zacchaeus to repent of his dishonest practices. The road between Jerusalem and Jericho is the setting for the Parable of the Good Samaritan.[45] John Wesley, in his New Testament Notes on this section of Luke's Gospel, claimed that "about twelve thousand priests and Levites dwelt there, who all attended the service of the temple".[46]

Roman province

After the fall of Jerusalem to Vespasian's armies in the Great Revolt of Judea in 70 AD, Jericho declined rapidly, and by 100 AD it was but a small Roman garrison town.[47] A fort was built there in 130 and played a role in putting down the Bar Kochba revolt in 133.

Byzantine period

Copy of Mosaic of the Shalom Al Yisrael Synagogue, 6th-7th AD

Accounts of Jericho by a Christian pilgrim are given in 333. Shortly thereafter the built-up area of the town was abandoned and a Byzantine Jericho, Ericha, was built a mile (1.61 km) to the east, on which the modern town is centered.[47] Christianity took hold in the city during the Byzantine era and the area was heavily populated. A number of monasteries and churches were built, including St George of Koziba in 340 AD and a domed church dedicated to Saint Eliseus.[44] At least two synagogues were also built in the 6th century AD.[41] The monasteries were abandoned after the Persian invasion of 614.[20]

The Jericho Synagogue in the Royal Maccabean winter palace at Jericho dates from 70-50 BCE.

A synagogue dating to the late 6th or early 7th century AD was discovered in Jericho in 1936, and was named Shalom Al Yisrael Synagogue, or "peace unto Israel," after the central Hebrew motto in its mosaic floor. It was controlled by Israel after the Six Day War, but after the handover to Palestinian Authority control per the Oslo Accords, it has been a source of conflict. On the night of 12 October 2000, the synagogue was vandalized by Palestinians who burned holy books and relics and damaged the mosaic.[48][49]

The Na'aran synagogue, another Byzantine era construction, was discovered on the northern outskirts of Jericho in 1918. While less is known of it than Shalom Al Yisrael, it has a larger mosaic and is in similar condition.[50]

Early Muslim period

Further information: Hisham's Palace

Jericho, by then named "Ariha" in Arabic variation, became part of Jund Filastin ("Military District of Palestine"), part of the larger province of Bilad al-Sham. The Arab Muslim historian Musa b. 'Uqba (d. 758) recorded that caliph Umar ibn al-Khattab exiled the Jews and Christians of Khaybar to Jericho (and Tayma).[51]

By 659, that district had come under the control of Mu'awiya, founder of the Umayyad dynasty. That year, an earthquake destroyed Jericho.[52] A decade later, the pilgrim Arculf visited Jericho and found it in ruins, all its "miserable Canaanite" inhabitants now dispersed in shantytowns around the Dead Sea shore.[53]

A palatial complex long attributed to the tenth Umayyad caliph, Hisham ibn Abd al-Malik (r. 724–743) and thus known as Hisham's Palace, is located at Khirbet al-Mafjar, about one mile (1.6 km) north of Tell es-Sultan. This "desert castle" or qasr was more likely built by Caliph Walid ibn Yazid (r. 743–744), who was assassinated before he could complete the construction.[54] The remains of two mosques, a courtyard, mosaics, and other items can still be seen in situ today. The unfinished structure was largely destroyed in an earthquake in 747.

Umayyad rule ended in 750 and was followed by the Arab caliphates of the Abbasid and Fatimid dynasties. Irrigated agriculture was developed under Islamic rule, reaffirming Jericho's reputation as a fertile "City of the Palms".[55] Al-Maqdisi, the Arab geographer, wrote in 985 that, "the water of Jericho is held to be the highest and best in all Islam. Bananas are plentiful, also dates and flowers of fragrant odor."[56] Jericho is also referred to by him as one of the principal cities of Jund Filastin.[57]

The city flourished until 1071 with the invasion of the Seljuk Turks, followed by the upheavals of the Crusades.

Crusader period

In 1179, the Crusaders rebuilt the Monastery of St. George of Koziba, at its original site six miles (9.7 km) from the center of town. They also built another two churches and a monastery dedicated to John the Baptist, and are credited with introducing sugarcane production to the city.[58] The site of Tawahin es-Sukkar (lit. "sugar mills") holds remains of a Crusader sugar production facility. In 1187, the Crusaders were evicted by the Ayyubid forces of Saladin after their victory in the Battle of Hattin, and the town slowly went into decline.[20]

Ayyubid and Mamluk periods

14th century map of Jericho in Farchi Bible

In 1226, Arab geographer Yaqut al-Hamawi said of Jericho, "it has many palm trees, also sugarcane in quantities, and bananas. The best of all the sugar in the Ghaur land is made here." In the 14th century, Abu al-Fida writes there are sulfur mines in Jericho, "the only ones in Palestine."[59]

Ottoman period

Postcard image depicting Jericho in the late 19th or early 20th century

In the late years of Ottoman rule, Jericho formed part of the waqf and imerat of Jerusalem. The villagers processed indigo as one source of revenue, using a cauldron specifically for this purpose that was loaned to them by the Ottoman authorities in Jerusalem.[60] For most of the Ottoman period, Jericho was a small village of farmers susceptible to attacks by Bedouins. The French traveller Laurent d'Arvieux described the city in 1659 as "now desolate, and consists only of about fifty poor houses, in bad condition... The plain around is extremely fertile; the soil is middling fat; but it is watered by several rivulets, which flow into the Jordan. Notwithstanding these advantages only the gardens adjacent to the town are cultivated."[61] In the 19th century, European scholars, archaeologists and missionaries visited often. The first excavation at Tell es-Sultan was carried out in 1867, and the monasteries of St. George of Koziba and John the Baptist were refounded and completed in 1901 and 1904, respectively.[20]

British Mandate period

After the collapse of the Ottoman Empire at the end of World War I, Jericho came under the rule of the Mandatory Palestine. According to a census conducted in 1922 by the British Mandate authorities, Jericho had 1,029 inhabitants, consisting of 931 Muslims, 6 Jews and 92 Christians.[62] During World War II The British built fortresses in Jericho with the help of the Jewish company Solel Boneh, and bridges were rigged with explosives in preparation for a possible invasion by German allied forces.[63] Increasing in the 1931 census to 1693 inhabitants, in 347 houses.[64]

In 1927, an earthquake struck and affected Jericho and other cities. Around 300 people died.[65]

1948 until today

Jericho was occupied by Transjordan during the 1948 Arab–Israeli War. The Jericho Conference, organized by King Abdullah and attended by over 2,000 Palestinian delegates in 1948 proclaimed "His Majesty Abdullah as King of all Palestine" and called for "the unification of Palestine and Transjordan as a step toward full Arab unity". In mid-1950, Jordan formally annexed the West Bank and Jericho residents, like other residents of West Bank localities became Jordanian citizens.[66]

Jericho was occupied by Israel during the Six-Day War of 1967 along with the rest of the West Bank. It was the first city handed over to Palestinian Authority control in accordance with the Oslo Accords.[67] The limited Palestinian self-rule of Jericho was agreed on in the Gaza–Jericho Agreement of 4 May 1994. Part of the agreement was a "Protocol on Economic Relations", signed on 29 April 1994.[68] The city is in an enclave of the Jordan Valley that is in Area A of the West Bank, while the surrounding area is designated as being in Area C under full Israeli military control. Four roadblocks encircle the enclave, restricting Jericho's Palestinian population's movement through the West Bank.[69]

In response to the 2001 Second Intifada and suicide bombings, Jericho was re-occupied by Israeli troops.[67] A 2-metre (6 ft 7 in) deep trench was built around a large part of the city to control Palestinian traffic to and from Jericho.[70]

On 14 March 2006, the Israel Defense Forces launched Operation Bringing Home the Goods, raiding a Jericho prison to capture the PFLP general secretary, Ahmad Sa'adat, and five other prisoners, all of whom had been charged with assassinating the Israeli tourist minister Rehavam Zeevi in 2001 and were about to be released.[71]

After Hamas assaulted a neighborhood in Gaza mostly populated by the Fatah-aligned Hilles clan, in response to their attack that killed six Hamas members, the Hilles clan was relocated to Jericho on 4 August 2008.[72]

In 2009, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs David Johnson inaugurated the Presidential Guard Training Center in Jericho, a $9.1 million training facility for Palestinian Authority security forces built with U.S. funding.[73]

The city's current mayor is Hassan Saleh, a former lawyer.


Jericho cable car

Jericho is located 258 metres (846 ft) below sea level in an oasis in Wadi Qelt in the Jordan Valley.[7][20][74] The nearby spring of Ein es-Sultan produces 3.8 m3 (1,000 gallons) of water per minute, irrigating some 10 square kilometres (2,500 acres) through multiple channels and feeding into the Jordan River, 10 kilometres (6 mi) away.[20][74] Annual rainfall is 160 mm (6.4 in), mostly concentrated between November and February. The average temperature is 15 °C (59 °F) in January and 31 °C (88 °F) in August. The constant sunshine, rich alluvial soil, and abundant water from the spring have always made Jericho an attractive place for settlement.[74]


Climate data for Jericho
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 19.0
Daily mean °C (°F) 10.7
Average low °C (°F) 4.4
Average precipitation mm (inches) 59
Average relative humidity (%) 77 81 74 62 49 50 51 57 52 56 54 74 61
Mean monthly sunshine hours 189.1 186.5 244.9 288.0 362.7 393.0 418.5 396.8 336.0 294.5 249.0 207.7 3,566.7
Mean daily sunshine hours 6.1 6.6 7.9 9.6 11.7 13.1 13.5 12.8 11.2 9.5 8.3 6.7 9.8
Source: Arab Meteorology Book[75]


Municipality of Jericho, 1967

In the first census carried out by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS), in 1997, Jericho's population was 14,674. Palestinian refugees constituted a significant 43.6% of the residents or 6,393 people.[76] The gender make-up of the city was 51% male and 49% female. Jericho has a young population, with nearly half (49.2%) of the inhabitants being under the age of 20. People between the ages of 20 and 44 made up 36.2% of the population, 10.7% between the ages of 45 and 64, and 3.6% were over the age of 64.[77] In the 2007 census by the PCBS, Jericho had a population of 18,346.[3]

Demographics have varied widely depending on the dominant ethnic group and rule in the region over the past three thousand years. In a 1945 land and population survey by Sami Hadawi, 3,010 inhabitants is the figure given for Jericho, of which 94% (2840) were Arab and 6% (170) were Jews.[78] Today, the overwhelming majority of the population is Muslim.[79] The Christian community makes up around 1% of the population.[80] A large community of black Palestinians is present in Jericho.[79]


Jericho marketplace, 1967

In 1994, Israel and the Palestinians signed an economic accord that enabled Palestinians in Jericho to open banks, collect taxes and engage in export and import in preparation for self-rule.[81]


In 2010, Jericho, with its proximity to the Dead Sea, was declared the most popular destination among Palestinian tourists.[82]

In 1998, a $150 million casino-hotel was built in Jericho with the backing of Yasser Arafat.[83] The casino is now closed, though the hotel on the premises is open for guests.

Biblical and Christian tourism

Christian tourism is one of Jericho's primary sources of income. There are several major Christian pilgrimage sites in and around Jericho.

Archaeological tourism

The archaeological sites in and near Jericho have a high potential for attracting tourists. These are dealt with in detail in the History and archaeology paragraph:


Agriculture is another source of income, with banana groves ringing the city.[4]

The Jericho Agro-Industrial Park is a public-private enterprise being developed in the Jericho area. Agricultural processing companies are being offered financial concessions to lease plots of land in the park in a bid to boost Jericho's economy.[84]

Schools and religious institutions

In 1925, Christian friars opened a school for 100 pupils that became the Terra Santa School. The city has 22 state schools and a number of private schools.[80]

Health care

In April 2010, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) held a groundbreaking ceremony for the renovation of the Jericho Governmental Hospital. USAID is providing $2.5 million in funding for this project.[85]


The sports team Hilal Areeha plays association football in the West Bank First Division. They play home games in the 15,000 spectator Jericho International Stadium.[86]

Panorama of Jericho

Twin towns — Sister cities

Jericho is twinned with:

Notable residents

See also

Listed alphabetically by first word, disregarding the article.


  1. Elected City Council Municipality of Jericho. Retrieved 8 March 2008.
  2. Kershner, Isabel (Aug. 6, 2007). "Abbas hosts meeting with Olmert in West Bank city of Jericho". New York Times. United Atates. Retrieved Nov. 16, 2016. Check date values in: |access-date=, |date= (help)
  3. 1 2 2007 PCBS Census. Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS).
  4. 1 2 3 The lost Jewish presence in Jericho, Jerusalem Post
  5. Palestinian farmers ordered to leave lands Al Jazeera. 29 August 2012
  6. Gates, Charles (2003). "Near Eastern, Egyptian, and Aegean Cities", Ancient Cities: The Archaeology of Urban Life in the Ancient Near East and Egypt, Greece and Rome. Routledge. p. 18. ISBN 0-415-01895-1. Jericho, in the Jordan River Valley in the West Bank, inhabited from ca. 9000 BCE to the present day, offers important evidence for the earliest permanent settlements in the Near East.
  7. 1 2 Murphy-O'Connor, 1998, p. 288.
  8. 1 2 3 Freedman et al., 2000, p. 689–671.
  9. Michal Strutin, Discovering Natural Israel (2001), p. 4.
  10. 1 2 Anna Ślązak (21 June 2007). "Yet another sensational discovery by Polish archaeologists in Syria". Science in Poland service, Polish Press Agency. Retrieved 2016-02-23.
  11. 1 2 R.F. Mazurowski (2007). "Pre- and Protohistory in the Near East: Tell Qaramel (Syria)". Newsletter 2006. Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology, Warsaw University. Retrieved 2016-02-23.
  12. Akhilesh Pillalamarri (18 April 2015). "Exploring the Indus Valley's Secrets". The diplomat. Retrieved 18 April 2015.
  13. 1 2 "Jericho", Encyclopædia Britannica
  14. "What is the oldest city in the world?".
  15. "The world's 20 oldest cities".
  16. Bromiley, 1995, p. 715
  17. Deuteronomy 34:3
  18. "Strong's Bible Dictionary". Retrieved 31 March 2011.
  19. Schreiber, 2003, p. 141.
  20. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Ring et al., 1994, p. 367–370.
  21. Bromiley, 1995, p. 1136.
  22. "Bibliotheca Sacra 132" (PDF). 1975. pp. 327–42.
  23. Mithen, Steven (2006). After the ice: a global human history, 20,000-5000 BCE (1st Harvard University Press pbk. ed.). Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press. p. 57. ISBN 0-674-01999-7.
  24. "Prehistoric Cultures". Museum of Ancient and Modern Art. 2010. Retrieved 5 September 2013.
  25. "Ancient Jericho: Tell es-Sultan". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. 2012. Retrieved 5 September 2013.
  26. Mithen, Steven (2006). After the ice: a global human history, 20,000-5000 BCE (1st Harvard University Press pbk. ed.). Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press. p. 54. ISBN 0-674-01999-7.
  27. Mithen, Steven (2006). After the ice: a global human history, 20,000-5000 BCE (1st Harvard University Press pbk. ed.). Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press. p. 59. ISBN 0-674-01999-7.
  28. 1 2 Ran Barkai and Roy Liran. Midsummer Sunset at Neolithic Jericho. In Time and Mind: The Journal of Archaeology, Consciousness and Culture, Volume 1—Issue 3, November 2008, p. 279. DOI 10.2752/175169708X329345
  29. 1 2 3 Akkermans, Peter M. M; Schwartz, Glenn M. (2004). The Archaeology of Syria: From Complex Hunter-Gatherers to Early Urban Societies (c.16,000-300 BCE). Cambridge University Press. p. 57. ISBN 978-0521796668.
  30. O'Sullivan, Arieh., World’s first skyscraper sought to intimidate masses, Jerusalem Post, 14 February 2011
  31. Kathleen M. Kenyon; Thomas A. Holland (1981). Excavations at Jericho: The architecture and stratigraphy of the Tell : plates, p. 6. British School of Archaeology. ISBN 978-0-9500542-3-0. Retrieved 12 July 2011.
  32. "Old Testament Jericho". 20 February 2008. Archived from the original on 20 February 2008. Retrieved 31 March 2011.
  33. Janson and Janson, 2003.
  34. Kuijt 2012, p. 167.
  35. Kenyon, Kathleen "Digging up Jericho"(London, 1957)
  36. 1 2 3 4 5 Jacobs 2000, p. 691.
  37. Robert L. Hubbard, Jr. (30 August 2009). Joshua. Zondervan. p. 203. ISBN 978-0-310-59062-0. The current scholarly consensus follows the conclusion of Kenyon: Except for a small, short-lived settlement (ca. 1400 B.C.), Jericho was completely uninhabited ca. 1550-1100 B.C.
  38. Dever, William G. (1990) [1989]. "2. The Israelite Settlement in Canaan. New Archeological Models". Recent Archeological Discoveries and Biblical Research. US: University of Washington Press. p. 47. ISBN 0-295-97261-0. Retrieved 2013-01-07. (Of course, for some, that only made the Biblical story more miraculous than everJoshua destroyed a city that wasn't even there!)
  39. 1 2 3 4 Avraham Negev and Shimon Gibson (2001). Jericho. Archaeological Encyclopedia of the Holy Land. New York and London: Continuum. p. 259. ISBN 0-8264-1316-1.
  40. 1 Macc 9:50
  41. 1 2 3 4 5 Murphy-O'Connor, 1998, pp. 289–291.
  42. Magnusson, Magnus. (1977). Archaeology of the Bible. New York: Simon and Schuster. p. 219. ISBN 9780671240103.
  43. Silvia Rozenberg; Ehud Netzer. (2008). Hasmonean and Herodian palaces at Jericho : final reports of the 1973-1987 excavations. 4, The decoration of Herod's third palace at Jericho. Jerusalem: Israel Exploration Society : Institute of Archaeology, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. ISBN 9789652210715. WorldCat website
  44. 1 2 Jericho - (Ariha) Studium Biblicum Franciscum - Jerusalem.
  45. "The Parable of the Good Samaritan Luke 10:25". Retrieved 31 March 2011.
  47. 1 2 Losch, 2005, p. 117–118.
  48. "The Palestinian Authority and the Jewish Holy Sites". JCPA. Retrieved 21 February 2010.
  49. "Jewish life in Jericho". Retrieved 5 May 2009.{}
  50. "Jewish life in Jericho". Retrieved 5 May 2009.{}
  51. Several hadith collections: e.g. Bukhari, Sahih as translated Muḥammad Muḥsin Khân, The Translation of the Meanings of Sahih al-Bukhari (India: Kitab Bhavan, 1987) 3.39.531 and 4.53.380, and Muslim Sahih trans. Abdul Hamid Siddiqui (Lahore: Kazi Publications, 1976) 10.3763.
  52. The Maronite Chronicle, written during Mu'awiya's caliphate. Note that for propaganda reasons it dates the earthquake to the wrong year: Andrew Palmer, The Seventh Century in the West-Syrian Chronicles (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 1993), 30, 31, 32.
  53. "The Pilgrimage of Arculf in the Holy Land", De Locis Sanctis as translated by Rev. James Rose MacPherson (W. London: BD. 24, Hanover Square, 1895), ch. I.11.
  54. Jerome Murphy-O’Connor, The Holy Land: An Oxford Archaeological Guide from Earliest Times to 1700, Oxford University Press 2008, p. 342-344.
  55. Shahin, 2005, p. 285.
  56. Shahin, 2005, p. 283.
  57. al-Muqaddasi quoted in Le Strange, 1890, p.39.
  58. Hull, 1855.
  59. al-Hamawi and Abu-l Fida quoted in Le Strange, 1890, p.397.
  60. Singer, 2002, p. 120.
  61. Graham, Peter. A Topographical Dictionary of Palestine. London, 1836. Page 122.
  62. Friling and Cummings, 2005, p. 65.
  63. Mills, 1932, p.45
  64. "Israel hit by fifth minor quake in a week". Ya Libnan. 22 October 2013. Retrieved 27 December 2013.
  65. Benvenisti, 1998, pp. 27-28.
  66. 1 2 At 10th anniversary, a far poorer Palestinian Authority
  67. Simons, Marlise (30 April 1994). "Gaza-Jericho Economic Accord Signed by Israel and Palestinians". Jericho (West Bank); Middle East; Gaza Strip: New York Times. Retrieved 31 March 2011.
  68. Ġānim, Asʻad (2010), Palestinian Politics After Arafat: A Failed National Movement, Indiana University Press, p. 35, ISBN 9780253354273
  69. ARIJ & LRC, 20 March 2001, The Tightening of the Siege on Jericho: Israel Employs a New Policy of Trench Digging
  70. Israel holds militant after siege 14 March 2006 BBC News
  71. Jerusalem Post 4 August 2008 IDF: Hilles clan won't boost terrorism Yaacov Katz And Khaled Abu Toameh
  72. Training Center for Palestinian Authority Security Forces Opens in Jericho
  73. 1 2 3 Holman, 2006, p. 1391.
  74. "Appendix I: Meteorological Data" (PDF). Springer. Retrieved October 25, 2015.
  75. Palestinian Population by Locality and Refugee Status Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS).
  76. Palestinian Population by Locality, Sex and Age Groups in Years (PCBS).
  77. Hadawi, 1970, p.57
  78. 1 2 Fisher, Dan (1987-02-02), "World's Oldest City Retains Lure : Biblical Jericho: Winter Oasis for the West Bank", Los Angeles Times
  79. 1 2 Jericho: A small Christian community and their school
  80. Gaza-Jericho Economic Accord Signed by Israel and Palestinians
  81. Palestinians aim to push tourism beyond Bethlehem
  82. Walls going up in Jericho construction of casino-hotel Palestinians, Israelis have role in project
  83. Jericho business park aims to inch Palestine towards sustainability, The Guardian
  84. USAID to Renovate the Jericho Governmental Hospital
  85. World Stadiums
  86. "Jerikó lett Eger új testvérvárosa". Retrieved 7 September 2013.
  87. "Pisa - Official Sister Cities". Comune di Pisa, Via degli Uffizi, 1 - 56100 Pisa centralino: +39 050 910111. Retrieved 16 December 2008.
  88. "Kragujevac Twin Cities". 2009 Information service of Kragujevac City. Retrieved 21 February 2009.


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