There are numerous small museum scattered across Israel. I had read about the Beit Sturman Museum at En Harod and had wanted to visit it. The Israel Museum Guide describes the museum in these terms:
Beit Sturman Museum is one of the biggest archaeological museums of the country. Rich collection of flora and fauna of the region. History of Jewish settlements in Israel valley. The museum is named in honour of one of the founders of kibbutz – Haim Sturman.
What really caught my attention was when I read that the Museum had a large collection of Roman milestones that were found in the Jezreel Valley.
Only seven milestones are visible in the photo below but there are dozens of others in the courtyard of the Museum. Many of them are broken, and very few of them have any visible inscription. I thought I recognized TR on one of them. I think this would indicate a milestone erected during the reign of the Emperor Trajan in the early 2nd century A.D.
The museum has a display of flora and fauna of the Jezreel Valley, several cases of pottery from sites in the area, and a display of agricultural practices including the first bale of cotton grown in Israel. That brought back a lot of childhood memories of when I picked cotton and went to the gin with my father or grandfather in North Alabama.
Earlier we tried to visit the Spring of Harod, the place where Gideon gathered the 300 men to fight the Midianites (Judges 7:1-8). This site was closed when my group were scheduled to visit a few days ago. We thought, at the time, that there might be some flooding in the area. However, it was still closed today. Dan and I tried to enter through a hotel or guest house, but they refused us entry. When we asked why the park was closed they just said “bureaucracy.” I suggested it might be a form of “sequestration.”
We also visited Tell Shalim, thought to be the site of Salim in the duo Aenon near to Salim, where John the Baptist baptized after Bethany Beyond the Jordan (John 3:23; 1:28). This is a place that would be impossible for a tour bus to go. It is about 8 miles south of Beth-shan, near the Jordan River.
There were a few other stops. We were disappointed when we were unable to get to the Roman Road at Golani Junction. A new road has been built east from the McDonald’s with a metal rail and a ditch that I didn’t think I would want to try to cross. Some individual travelers will be disappointed in this change.
vanbraman, That is why I was wanting to visit the spring this year.
Mark, thanks for sharing this info. It is too bad that these significant sites are often neglected or vandalized. I have been there twice before and have some fairly good photos which I have shared on the blog.
I walked the Jesus Trail this summer. After spending the night at the Yarok Az Organic Goat Farm and Ecolodge (!) near Golani Junction, I did manage to work my way around to get to the ridge on the north side of the highway and east of the junction. I found remnants of the Roman road, but much of it had been disturbed by heavy equipment. I couldn’t even get a decent picture that would be recognizable as the road, but I did see the treated paving stones scattered about.
Too bad about the Spring of Harod. I would have liked to see pictures from this time of year.