Ofakim Forest area: a preliminary documentary addendum


Plan number 539/03/7 (Ofakim Forests) covers only a small portion of the Besor region that forms part of the northwestern Negev...
 
Nonetheless, the historical processes that have taken place in Israel in the context of wider events throughout the Middle East have not neglected to leave their mark on the Besor region. Both in the Besor region and in the more limited area around and between the Shomriya, Patish, Ofakim, Halmut, Hatzerim and Tifrah rivers, archeological remains from almost all known periods of settlement in the country have been found.
 
The items that can still be seen there are the direct product of these historical processes, and they can be divided into four principal groups: water-related sites, agricultural sites, military structures, roads and railways.
 
These remains are evidence of cultural developments and major events that took place at the sites. Archeological and historical buildings from the Byzantine, Ottoman and British periods, from the First World War, from the early days of Zionist settlement and from Israel’s War of Independence, together with the natural features of the local landscape, today form part of the unique identity, heritage and cultural features of the area.
 
In other words, the sites and remains documented in this research cast light on important chapters in the story of human settlement in the region.