During my last visit to Israel, time of the first COVID pandemic round, after a long lockdown cases went down to almost nothing and national parks opened up again. Most folks were fairly hesitant to explore, so I got to go around Israel and have all the national parks for all for myself to explore. I also got to finally visit a few sites that I’ve been meaning to visit for a very long time, but never got the chance.
One of those is Susya. Thing is, that it is located near Hebron, crossing the semi-border between Israel into Palestinian territories controlled by Israel, and ancient Susya is near several Israeli settlements in the area. So, that made things slightly more complicated, I wasn’t sure how that was going to play out, and driving around I realized I can’t just cross whatever road I want, you need to know where you’re going when you’re there.
Anyhoo, it is a very interesting historical site, and they’ve done a really good job telling the story, or rather the mystery, of this place. Why did the people in Susya suddenly get up and leave? where did they go?
There are also lots of funky things going on, like underground tunnels connecting underground residential caves, to the synagogue, the center of the community and the main highlight. You can to crawl through those yourself, to emerge right in front of the synagogue. A remarkably fun experience that made this visit very interesting.
There was also a good video telling the story of Susya in a slightly different way. It’s played in one of the caves, and it walks you through the mystery of the place, and the adventure of learning things for yourself by actually interacting with the land. Fun stuff.
Ancient Susya National Park
Not too far away, I found another archeological site, but not as nicely organized. Also an ancient village with the curious residential caves, which you can go and explore on your own.