The Terraces of Battir

The Terraces of Battir

The invention of a special system of irrigation from the abundant springs of Battir allowed for the development of the mountainous landscape of the agricultural terraces, which have been inscribed on the UNESCO List of World Heritage Sites. Over 5,000 years ago, millions of locally-made stones were used to construct the man-made terraces on the hillslopes of Battir. The terraces extend along Al Makhrour valley, all the way to Battir.

The technique used in building the terraces involved the development of sanasel, or dry-stone walls, which were systematically arranged to create flat surfaces to prevent the erosion of the soil and uphold its moisture. In addition to the different types of vegetables, the terraces are mainly planted with olive trees, which are not only significant on the agricultural, sociocultural and symbolic levels, but also play an important role in the development of cultural landscapes in Palestine.

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