2,000-year-old terraces restored 5 years after Carmel Forest fire

Uncovering the terraces has been a part of a much larger process of rehabilitating both the Carmel Forest and creating buffer zones to protect nearby communities from future fires.

November 30, 2015 17:56
1 minute read.
Carmel forest terraces

The newly-restored 2,000-year-old terraces in the Carmel forest. (photo credit: Courtesy)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Five years after the Carmel fire tragedy that killed 44 people and burned some 2,550 hectares of land, a series of 2,000-year-old terraces have been exposed and restored in the region.

While the fire proved disastrous to both the people and wildlife in the Carmel area, the burning of the thick forest revealed the ancient agricultural terraces, which were then restored by Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael-Jewish National Fund.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

Workers were able to reconstruct the structures, in part by making use of aerial photographs from 1944, KKLJNF Western Galilee regional director Michael Weinberger explained in a statement from the fund.

“A golden opportunity was created for us to restore the same terraces over the course of rehabilitating the burnt area,” Weinberger said.

At the same site, workers also uncovered earthenware dating back to the Roman period, corresponding to the estimated age of the terraces according KKLJNF.

Uncovering the terraces has been a part of a much larger process of rehabilitating both the Carmel Forest and creating buffer zones to protect nearby communities from future such damage, the statement explained. As part of the process of thinning and pruning trees, the organization also introduced grazing cattle and sheep tasked with clearing some of the vegetation that leads the spread of fires, the statement added.

“One of the main challenges in the Carmel Forest rehabilitation has been the creation of a much thinner forest than what was burned, a forest that will likely be less sensitive to such fires and more resistant to the increasingly arid conditions expected in an era of climate change and global warming,” said KKL-JNF chief scientist Omri Boneh.

This challenge, Boneh explained, is particularly daunting, due to both the naturally rapid regeneration of pine trees and the depletion of goat herds that used to graze in the area.

“KKL-JNF has established a series of experiments to study more ways of creating thinner forests and is testing various means toward increasing grazing, in order to prevent the reproduction of a dense and tangled forest,” he added.

Related Content

Workers strike outside of the Teva building in Jerusalem, December 2017
December 18, 2017
Workers make explosive threats as massive Teva layoff strikes continue