Rujum Al-Hiri

Golan Heights Destinations

Rujum al-Hiri is an ancient archaeological site in the Golan Heights. Despite the very few archaeological finds most scholars date the site to the Early Bronze Age II (3000 – 2700 BCE). The scarcity of finds also left archaeologists puzzled about the purpose of the site. Despite there is no real consensus about its function most suggest it was used for cultic rituals.



More About Rujum Al-Hiri

An aerial view of the site shows a large circle of basalt stones, inside which are smaller circles, some open and some closed. In the center of the circle is a stone mound, a dolmen, about 20 meters in diameter and approximately five meters high. The entire structure has more than 42,000 stones, which were brought to the site about 5,000 years ago. Apparently, the reason why the site is built of basalt stones is the accessibility of these in the Golan Heights. The builders had no difficulty carving the stones from nearby mountains and getting them to the site.


In This Photo: The Burial Chamber in Rujum Al-Hiri

The Discovery of Rujum Al-Hiri

Rujum Al-Hiri is in the Golan Heights, so when it was under Syrian control the site was not considered important. After the six-day war, Israeli Archaeologists thoroughly surveyed the area and found among other things ancient synagogues, megalithic structures. Some ideas about what could be the purpose of the site have been suggested. For example, one theory suggests it was a burial site of some sort dated to the Bronze Age. The tomb that was found at Rujum Al-Hiri might suggest that. Another possibility is the site was used for sky burial as well.

Pagan Worship at Rujum Al-Hiri

According to the hypothesis currently accepted by a large part of scholars, the site served as a stage for special ritual ceremonies during the Bronze Age, on the longest and shortest day of the year. Apparently, about 5,000 years ago the first rays of the sun did penetrate on the longest day of the year through the opening in the northeastern gate. However, they did not enter at a perfect angle. Apparently, the worship was for the gods Asher and Tammuz, the gods of fertility, as giving thanks to them for a good harvest during the year. After the tomb was built in the center, about a thousand years later, the passage of light rays was blocked.


apt-stamp-white@2x
arik-about

Hi! My name is Arik Haglili, an Israeli native who decided to dedicate his life to share my knowledge about the Holy Land to those that are interested to know more about this amazing piece of land. My career as a private tour guide started at the International School For the Studying of the Holocaust and the rest is history. 

Did you know the Hoopoe is Israel's national bird?! For more cool info about Israel, join our ever growing community and get exclusive travel tips, and giveaways!

Caesarea Philippi

RELATED POSTS

Sataf

The Sataf has an amazing story to tell! In the past, it was a Palestinian village in the Jerusalem area depopulated during the 1948 Arab–Israeli ...

Old Jaffa Visitors Center

The amazing stories of Jaffa are displayed in the Old Jaffa Visitors Center in the heart of Kedumim Square, inside there are lots to discover!

Nabi Musa

Nabi Musa meaning "The Prophet Moses" is the name of a site in the West Bank believed to be the tomb of Moses (according to Muslims).

Yardenit Baptismal Site

Yardenit, also known as the Yardenit Baptismal Site, is a baptism site located along the Jordan River in the Galilee region, which is frequented by ...

Château Golan Winery

Château Golan Winery is an Israeli winery established in 1999 and is one of Israel’s most extravagant. It is located in southern Golan Heights, near ...

Theodor Herzl’s Grave

Theodor Herzl’s Grave is one of the sites located on top of Mount Herzl. But who was Theodor Herzl? So he was the “Visionary of ...

Church of the Apostles

The Church of the Holy Apostles, or simply the Church of the Apostles is located at Capernaum, standing among the ruins of ancient Capernaum near ...

Mount Gilboa

Mount Gilboa is a ridge overlooking the Jezreel Valley In the Galilee and one of Israel’s most beautiful spots. At Mount Gilboa you can find ...

Eilat Mountains

Eilat Mountains are a mountain range in southern Israel next to Eilat. There are amazing trails there to explore! So let's go exploring!

Gethsemane

Gethsemane is a garden at the foot of the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. According to the Gospels, Jesus underwent the Agony in the garden.