The Hula Valley
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The Hula Valley is the northern tribute of the Dead Sea Rift Valley, part of the Great African Rift Valley. The rift was created as a result of Millions of years of active contact between the Arabian Plate and the Sinai Plate, which is part of the African Plate. The plates are moving one against the other creating a series of deep valleys in the crest of the earth. Many of these valleys are then filled with lakes. The Dead Sea and the Sea of Galilee are below sea level today, The Hula Valley is at an elevation of ca. 70 meters above sea level today.
The Hula Valley is located between the western rim of the rift – the Naftaly Mountains to the Basaltic Golan Heights in the east. From the North East rises Mt. Hermon and in the north lay the Ayon Valley. In the south the valley is bordered by the Kurazim Plato.
In the southern part of the Valley was Lake Hula that was drained during the 1950’s. North of the lake were the large swamps covered by cane and papyrus. The valley is flourished with water surrounded by some 80 springs, the Dan spring being the largest spring in the Middle East.
In the Hula Lake and around it lived numerous species of animal and birds, some of which were endemic to the valley. Mollusks, insects, fish, amphibians, birds and mammals inhabit this rich environment. The Hula valley is located at the heart of one of the primary bird migration routes in the world. The diversity of both migratory and stable birds here is enormous. The vegetation of the region included water plants, swamp plants and Mediterranean flora. The Lake, swamps and their surrounding enabled rich and divers environment attracting place for humans from the earliest stages of human presence in the Levant.
The earliest evidences for Human presence at the Valley are at the Acheulian site of Gesher Benot Ya’aqov, some 780,000 years ago The hula valley is occupied by people ever since and hold prehistoric and historic sites of world importance.