The Sanhedrin Trail – Israel Antiquities Authority
The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) is the State Authority that is responsible for the antiquities of the State of Israel, for their exposure, conservation and research, and for bringing the community close to the rich heritage of the Holy Land. The Education and Community Outreach Department of the IAA carries out a broad spectrum of educational activity, whereby school children, youth and communities take part in archaeological excavations and in a variety of educational initiatives. One of the IAA’s major educational ventures over the past year is ‘the Sanhedrin Trail’.
The approximately 70 km long, Sanhedrin Trail crosses the Lower Galilee from west to east, from Bet She’arim to Tiberias, passing through several ancient sites that are associated with the Sanhedrin, the Jewish Rabbinical Leadership and Court in Roman-period Galilee that was composed of 70 Rabbis. The trail was formally dedicated to the State of Israel, in honor of the State’s 70th birthday, celebrated in May 2018. The trail links the trailers who hike it with the Galilean landscape and its rich cultural heritage, its environment, nature and archaeological and historical sites, and with the many varied cultures that have influenced the region down to the present day.
The creation of the trail was carried out by the active participation of thousands of pupils, youth and volunteers from all backgrounds and from all fields of life, who took part in archaeological excavations, created, prepared and signposted the trail, and developed the archaeological sites along it. Jewish, Moslem, Christian, Bedouin, Druze and Circassian pupils, pre-army groups, students and youth on a pre-university ‘gap-year’ from abroad, worked alongside groups of pensioners, army-disabled volunteers and special needs groups, all experiencing the Sanhedrin Trail by hiking, learning and experiencing. The trail is undergoing continuous development by the exposure of the archaeological sites along the route, and by the significant educational activities carried out along the trail, and the developments will continue in the future.