הנוסע מבורדו 333

Ein Zur Spring – the Byzantine Period

A hoard of 2,100 coins from the Byzantine Period was found in the Ein Zur Spring. It appears that the coins were thrown into the spring as part of an ancient custom that ascribes healing abilities to its water. We also have a description of a journey from Bordeaux, in southern France, to the Holy Land and Jerusalem, and the return to Bordeaux. The name of the traveller is unknown to us. The journey from Bordeaux is one of the first descriptions by travellers and tourists who visited the Land of Israel during the Byzantine Period as part of the crusades to the holy sites. The traveller from Bordeaux describes the names of the sites they camped in or passed by. A more detailed description was provided for very important sites such as those in Judea, and particularly those in Jerusalem. In his/her description of the journey from Caesaria to Tzippori the traveller mentions “Mt. Sina”, after the third milestone from Caesaria, and mentions the special properties of the spring found at this site, where “a woman who bathes in it becomes pregnant”. The spring of fertility from the traveller’s description is commonly identified as the spring we call Ein Zur, at the foot of Horvat ‘Aqav. The coins were thrown into the spring, as a wishing well, most probably by women who sought a cure for their sterility.

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