Beth Shearim in the Galilee on Sunday made the UNESCO World Heritage Site list, becoming the ninth Israeli location to join the prestigious list.
The World Heritage Committee at the United Nation’s Education, Scientific, and Culture Organization (UNESCO) approved on Sunday the inscription of five cultural sites on World Heritage List, including Israel’s Beth She’arim in northern Israel.
It is the ninth Israeli site to be added to the prestigious list, after the Beit Guvrin-Maresha National Park in the Judean Lowlands, which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in April.
Four countries — Lebanon, Qatar, Algeria and Malaysia — voted against the resolution to include Beit She’arim, while 17 voted in favor. Beit She’arim, originally proposed as a World Heritage Site in 2002, is among 19 sites around the world added to the list.
The necropolis of Beth She’arim (literally, The House of Gates), called “a Landmark of Jewish Revival,” consists of an elaborate series of catacombs.
The necropolis developed since the 2nd century BCE as the primary Jewish burial place outside Jerusalem following the failure of the second Jewish revolt against Roman rule. Located east of the city of Haifa in the southern part of the Lower Galilee, these catacombs are a treasury of artworks and inscriptions in Greek, Aramaic and Hebrew.
Beth She’arim bears unique testimony to ancient Judaism under the leadership of Rabbi Judah the Patriarch, who is credited with Jewish renewal after 135 CE, following the destruction of the Second Temple and the failure of the Bar Kochba rebellion. He, too, is buried there.
The other Israeli sites on the list are: Masada; Jerusalem’s Old City and the Western Walls; the Old City of Acre; the White City of Tel Aviv; the biblical sites of Megiddo, Hatzor and Beersheba; the incense route of desert cities in the Negev; and the Baha’i holy places in Haifa and the Western Galilee and the Beit Guvrin site.
By: United with Israel Staff
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