>  Top Jewish Tour Destinations in Israel   >  Horvat Burgin

horvat bugin

In the lush Judean foothills (the Shephela), Horvat Burgin is an archaeological site rich in finds, especially from the Roman and Byzantine periods. It is also unique for combining both Pagan, Jewish, and Christian tombs in its cemetery.

History and Archaeology of Horvat Burgin

Horvat Burgin was first settled in the First Temple Period, yet most of its remains are from the classical periods. In the 1st and 2nd centuries CE, Horvat Burgin was a sizeable Jewish village. Hiding tunnels carved beneath its houses attest to the local population participating in the first Jewish rebellion (66-70 CE) and the Bar-Kokhva rebellion (132-135 CE). At that time, the site was probably called “Kafar Bis,” whose Roman conquest is described by Josephus (Wars 4 9 9). This proposal is based on the fact that a nearby site is called, in Arabic, sherbet al-Biss, which possibly preserves the ancient sites’ names. Furthermore, Burgin’s summit is called “Umm Burj” (Arabic for “the mother of all fortresses”), possibly preserving the memory of a fort.
After suppressing the the Bar-Kokhva rebellion, Pagans, possibly Roman veterans, settled in the site, yet in the 4th century AD, Horvat Burgin developed a Christian character. A monastery was built near its summit, and a Christian burial caves were added in its cemetery. Georgian texts inscribed in one of the cisterns suggest it was a Georgian hermitage. The Muslim conquest in the 7th century led to a massive depopulation of the Holy Land and Horvat Burgin was also abandoned. The site was resettled in the Ottoman and up to 1948.
An Israeli expedition excavated at the site 1995 to 2012, yet most of the site remains to be uncovered.

Touring Horvat Burgin

The site is accessible from Road 38. A paved road passing by Khirbet Midras reaches the site’s northern edge. The hiding caves and the monastic remains, which include several mosaic floors, are near its summit. The burial caves are at the eastern edge of the site.
A tour of Horvat Burgin can be combined with a guided day tour in the Judean Foothills (the Shephelah).

Contact us to inquire more about a private tour to the Shephela:

    Related Tours