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Crusaders in the Holy Land. Tourism in Judea and Samaria.


This paper explores some of the key dimensions of emerging Crusaders heritage tourism in the Holy Land. While this development has been researched in Jerusalem and Acre (Cohen-Hattab & Shoval, 2014; Shoval, 2013; Boas, 2001) nobody to date has researched the very different development of Crusaders heritage injudea and Samaria. The paper seeks to redress this imbalance.

According to our research, in those days Judaea and Samaria was perceived as an area of great importance, with a significant influence on economic life in the 11th to 13th centuries--during which period the Holy Land was ruled by the Crusaders. At that time, Judaea and Samaria had numerous cities and rural villages with defense-based and/or religious-based castles and fortresses. Several groups competed for the same land-farmsteads, military orders and churches, which led to a sharp increase in the price of land. Agriculture and the manufacturing industry also developed and thrived throughout Judaea and Samaria. Hence, the area became of special interest to the King of Jerusalem, as well as the various local lords, as a result of its high tax revenues. Ever-mounting security costs in the Crusader Kingdom, together with budget deficits, required urgent attention; both the King and the lords had need of more money and other assets.

The First Crusade was declared by Pope Urban II, with the goal of restoring Christian access to the holy places in and near Jerusalem. The background was the recent decisive defeat of the Byzantine army by Seljuk Turks at Manzikert in 1071. In an attempt to curtail the Muslim victory, the Byzantine Emperor, Alexios I Comnenus, sought to align Christianity against a common enemy, with the request of Western aid. On November 27, 1095 at the Council of Claremont, Pope Urban II enlisted Western leaders in the cause of taking back the Holy Land. On June 25, 1099 the Crusaders, after long months of siege, conquered Jerusalem, then in the hands of the Fatimids. Till 1187, the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem was a reality to be reckoned with in the complicated and vast political panorama of the Muslim Near East.

The areas currently called Judaea and Samaria, and the subject of this paper, first became part of the Crusader Kingdom around 1099 and remained so until 1187, the so-called First Kingdom, or Kingdom of Jerusalem. Hence, Judaea and Samaria was one of the first areas conquered by the Crusaders (Riley-Smith, 1991). In the aftermath of the First Crusade, after the conquest of Jerusalem, Ramleh, Jaffa and its harbor, whose conquest permitted a steady supply of equipment and food to the Crusader armies, fell into the hands of the Western conquerors. Afterwards, the Crusaders were further successful in conquering vast areas of Judaea and Samaria, including its principal urban stronghold, Shechem. The Crusaders immediately exploited this fertile area as the main source of crops and food. It was only later on that the coast of the Holy Land, including the city of Acre, fell under the control of the foreign conquerors. However, even after the conquest of new areas, the area of Judaea and Samaria maintained its importance for both economic and strategic reasons (Ehrlich, 2006). Only Salah Ha Din's victory at the battle of the Horns of Hattin, and the subsequent fall of Jerusalem, brought the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem to its end. After Salah Ha Din's conquests, sometime around 1187, Judaea and Samaria passed to the Adjubids. From that time onwards, the fate of Judaea and Samaria was yoked to the Muslim overlords of the Holy Land--the Adjubids and the Mamelukes. In this paper, we shall relate, discuss and analyze the story of Judaea and Samaria during the First Crusader Kingdom period--from approximately 1099 till 1187 (Runciman, 1987). * In terms of methodology, the research is based primarily upon sources that present the story the Crusades in Judea and Samaria from a historical perspective, along with tourism literature sources.

The crusader settlement in Judaea and Samaria

During the early Crusader period, Judaea and Samaria showed a different administrative division than that of the previous and later periods. The main reason for this was, of course, that the land was divided among fief-holders; thus, their economic needs did not match those of the previous administrations under the rule of a governor. In fact, the area was then a Feudal state, containing no district or provinces, controlled by the officials of a central authority. The kingdom's administrative division was therefore based on the laws of the feudal system, according to which the king, as suzerain and lord of the kingdom, granted tracts of lands to nobles as fiefs, while a considerable part remained in the king's hands and was administered by him directly as his domain. The fiefs given to the nobles were of two types, the first being without juridical and administrative authority, and consisting of lands granted predominantly for economic exploitation. The second type of fief consisted of "seigneuries"--broad fiefs within which the lord enjoyed both juridical and administrative powers, which made him a ruler virtually independent of the central authority. In Samaria and Judaea, while the main part of the area was considered part of the royal domain, the area of Judaea was in fact a fief that did not enjoy any judicial and administrative authority. As we shall see, Nablus and Hebron were two exceptions, which became parts of bigger seigneuries. For the most part, the administrative borders often coincided with those of earlier periods. Thus, the boundaries between Sebaste and Neapolis, and between Neapolis and Jerusalem, coincided with the same boundaries of the Byzantine Palaestina Secunda (Benevisti, 1976).

The administrative division of the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem, at the height of its expansion in approximately 1160, consisted of the north, in Samaria. In the south, in Judaea, while the royal domain of Jerusalem occupied the central part of Judaea, the fief of Hebron dominated the southern area. According to Benvenisti, Bethsan included an area of 230 square kilometers; Sabaste, 500; Nablus, 1,500; and Hebron, a total of 2,900 square kilometers. Bethlehem andjericho were dependent onjerusalem and were located in an administrative area of 2,000 square kilometers.

As we remarked previously, the fiefs in which Judaea and Samaria were divided did not enjoy any juridical and administrative authority for most of the period concerned. Bethsan is a good example. The town, which was occupied by Tancred in 1099, was never part of the Principality of Galilee, despite its location. Instead, it became a royal domain in 1101, most likely until around 1120. It occasionally went back to being under direct royal control, as an administrative unit of the royal domain, until new lords were appointed.

There were two exceptions, at least for a certain period: Nablus and Hebron. Both of these administrative regions briefly became part of seigneuries. Nablus was first captured by Tancred and Eustace of Boulogne in July 1099, and then handed over by Tancred to Baldwin I. Until 1176 the area of Nablus was part of the royal domain, under direct royal control. It was then given as a fief--first to a certain Pagan the Butler, and then to the Milly family. When Philip de Milly married Isabella, the daughter of Maurice of Oultrejordain, he had to renounce the fief of Nablus, although for a while Nablus seems to have been perceived as a separate lordship out of part of Oultrejordain. Later, Queen Maria Comnena was appointed lordship over Nablus as part of her first husband, King Amalric I's, dower (morganaticum). Thus, the fief passed to the Ibelin family. Indeed, in 1176 the area was detached from the territory of the royal domain, and became semi-independent as the "Seigneurie de Naples" or Nablus. The fief was lost in 1187 during Saladin's conquest of the kingdom to Husam el-Din, Saladin's nephew. However, the boundaries of this "Seigneurie" continued to coincide with those of the administrative unit previously existing within the domain and now administered by the Viscount of Naples, who also presided on the Burgesses Court. In fact, as Nablus was technically part of the royal domain, it also had a viscount who governed in place of the monarch.

Hebron was one of the earliest seigneuries created. Until 1149, Hebron was alternatively an integral part of the royal domain or given as a fief to various families, the last of which was the St. Abraham family. Later, it had its own vassal, the Lordship of Beth Gibelin, created by Fulk in 1149. Soon afterwards, however, Hebron once again became part of the royal domain, and Beth Gibelin passed to the Hospitalliers. Hence, similar to Nablus, Hebron was an administrative unit within the royal domain until 1161,directly under its rule or as a fief, when it was separated from the royal domain, becoming the Seigneurie of Philip of Milly of Oultrejourdain. In this way, Hebron, like Nablus, became part of a remote "seigneurie", located on the other side of the Jordan. Its administrative independence was not affected by this change of lords, and Hebron remained a separate unit under the lords of Crac-Montreal. The city was conquered in 1187.

Benvenisti (1976) divides the main administrative centers into fortified towns (the only one was Jerusalem, which is not considered in the present paper); open towns, which possessed a fortified stronghold; and open towns that lacked a fortified stronghold. The capital of the fief of Bethsan was the C Bethsan--an open town, which possessed a fortified stronghold. On the other side, Sabaste, the main center of the fief of Sabaste, was a small open town that did not possess any fortified stronghold. Naples, the capital of the fief of Naples, was an open town with a fortified stronghold. The western part of the royal domain of Jerusalem is not relevant to our research. However, the two main settlements of Judaea--the areas East and South of Jerusalem--were Jericho and Bethlehem. While Jericho was an open town with a fortified stronghold, Bethlehem was an open town. In the southernmost fief, Hebron, the main town was that of Hebron, consisting of an open town with a fortified stronghold.

The area of Judaea and Samaria possessed various types of fortifications erected by the Crusaders. Benvenisti differentiates between "castrum" types of fortifications, the "Norman keep" type, "spur" type and, of course, "walled towns". Other types of fortifications, such as fortified caves and fortified buildings, albeit relevant for a detailed survey of the area, are much less important for a general research study. While no peculiar fortification had been identified in the administrative area of Sebaste, in the Bethsan and Naples administrative divisions of Samaria, the two Norman keep types of fortifications were Bethsan and Naples. Both keeps controlled the open towns of the same names. In Judaea, in the northern area of the royal domain, the main fortifications--Norman keep types--stood at Bethal, al Burj, Magna Mahomeria, and Jericho. A fortified building had been excavated at St. Jean. The only fortification in the south of Judaea was the Norman keep of Bethania. The southern part of Judaea, dominated by the administrative area of Hebron, included three fortified Norman keep fortifications: the one located at Hebron, which protected the open town, and two others located at Carmel and Samoe.

No less important are the Frankish settlements, where the Crusaders coming from Western Europe settled, together or apart from the native local population, comprised of Eastern Christians, Samaritans, and Sunni and Shi'ite Muslims. Benvenisti differentiates between five types of Frankish settlements, cities with over 10,000 Frankish inhabitants; towns with over 3,000 Frankish inhabitants; settlements with over 500 Frankish inhabitants; settlements with less than 500 Frankish inhabitants; and settlements possessing only a handful of Frankish dwellers. In Samaria, in the administrative area of Bethsan, the only settlement that possessed some Frankish dwellers was Bethsan. In the Sebaste administrative area, Franks settled in Zababida and Khirbeth Baubariya, while at Sebaste the settlement included less than 500 Frankish dwellers. In the Naples administrative area, a Frankish settlement existed that included less than 500 souls, while a few dwellers also inhabited Luban. In Judaea, in the royal domain of Jerusalem, while the Frankish population of Jericho and Bethlehem included less than 500 Frankish inhabitants, there were various small Frankish settlements, located at Bir Zeit, Burj Bardawil and Effraon, in the north; Quarantene, Jaba, Maldoim, in the area immediately north of Jerusalem; and Beit Safafa in the area south of Jerusalem. Another settlement was Thecoa, located south of Bethlehem. While in the Hebron administrative area of southern Judaea, Hebron and Samoe each included a population of more than 500 Frank inhabitants, in Carmel there was only a very small Frankish settlement. Benvenisti (1976) classifies the Frankish settlements as cities (Nablus, Bethlehem), townships (Jenin, Sebaste, Hebron), villages, administrative centers (Jericho), fortresses (Ma'ale Adumim), churches and isolated monasteries (Nabi Samwil), isolated families or temporary settlements (Bir Zeit, Beit Safafa, Beit Hanina, Beit Horon, Samariya).

Last but not least, one of the main characteristics of the Crusader Kingdom was its ecclesiastical division. The Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, following the pledge of Pope Paschal II to King Baldwin I in 1111, ruled at the time the Dioceses of Samaria and Judea. Bishops were appointed in Sebaste, Hebron and Betlehem, where cathedral churches had been erected. There was no bishop at Nablus, as it was under the control of the abbot from the Abbey of Templum Domini. Parish churches were erected at Al-Bira, Magna Mahomaria, Qubeiba, Parva Mahomaria, Beit Nuba, Nablus, and Sinjil Saint Gilles A monastery was located at Quarantene, in Jabal Quruntul, near Jericho.

The defense of Judaea and Samaria

Although the areas of Samaria and Judaea were located inland, far from the Via Maris--the main axis of the Crusader Kingdom--various roads crossed these two regions. The two main access roads were the King's Highway, which crossed the Jordan Valley from north to south; and the Pilgrim Road, which also passed through the area. An important secondary road was the Watershed Route. This road left the Tiberias-Acre road and continued southwards through al-Fula, Jezreel, entering Samaria, and then passing through Jenin, Sabastiya, Nablus, Jifna and al-Bira and finally arriving to Jerusalem. South of Jerusalem, the road followed the watershed through Bethlehem to Hebron. This road was used by most of the pilgrims who landed at Acre. Another important thoroughfare was the road from Caesarea through Qaqun to Nablus, where it joined the watershed route. East of the latter, another road went down from Nablus to the Jordan Valley and crossed it at the Damiya Bridge. In Judea, the most important road was that linking Jerusalem to the Via Maris. It had three branches, the principal one making the Beth Horon ascent to Nabi Samwil and joining the watershed route at Beit Hanina. East of Jerusalem, the Pilgrim route crossed over to the Jordan via Ma'ale Adumim (Maldoim), and Jericho. In addition, great commercial and military importance was attached to the road that went from Hebron through Carmel to Tsoar (a-Safi). This was, in fact, the chief route from Jerusalem to the lordship of Oultrejourdain.

The up-keep of these roads was controlled by local seigneurs, who imposed a toll, as well as the military orders of the Templers and Hospitalliers. Thus, the defense of the area of Judea and Samaria was in the hands of the local fief-holders, who had to provide a certain defined number of knights and sergeants, and under the military orders of the Templers and Hospitalliers. The military personnel provided by the fief-holders and the military orders could be considered mobile; however, the on-going defense depended mainly on the towers and castles. As we mentioned in the Introduction, although we can differentiate between various types of fortifications, the vast majority of Samaria and Judea's static defenses consisted of Norman keeps or towers (Boas, 1996).

The Templers held various possessions in Jerusalem and in the Crusader East. In Judea, they were responsible for the defense of the road from Jerusalem to the Jordan River, passing through Jericho. The Templers' possessions in the Crusader States included the Temple Mount in Jerusalem and various holdings in other Eastern towns, such as Mount Carmel (Haifa), Gaza, Jaffa, Sidon, the Sea Castle at Tyre, the castles of Tortosa and Chastel Blanc in the County of Tripoli, and holdings at Nicosia (Boas, 1996). The Templars were also responsible for the defense of pilgrims as well as maintaining the fortifications. They erected the small castles of Beit Jubr at Tahtani, Cisterna Rubea and Docus.

Economic life in Judaea and Samaria

In the 12th and 13th centuries, under the rule of the Crusaders, the land was less prosperous than it had been in the earlier Byzantine period. Indeed, the number of settlements had decreased during the four hundred years under Arabic control, and entire areas that had become less fertile were abandoned. There was no shortage of fertile lands to develop; the problem was manpower. The majority of the local peasant population, which constituted most of the agricultural manpower, had been killed in the battles against the Crusaders or had fled to less hostile areas. The Crusaders were not able to strike roots in the rural areas of the country, although attempts of agricultural settlement were indeed made by the Crusaders. However, most were unsuccessful, mainly because of security reasons. It was difficult to create an agricultural settlement, where the Frankish minority would have dwelled surrounded by a hostile population. Besides, most of the Crusaders had no experience of agricultural labor as they came from the urban centers located in Europe. Hence, no change was made in the ethnic structure of the rural population. The Frankish lord or estate owner, lived either in the city or the stronghold, while the Muslim peasants worked his land, and turned over part of their income to their own lord (Constable, 1982).

The extensive agricultural production in Judaea and Samaria, and the subsequent increase in income to the king as a result, emphasize the importance of this region to the economy of the entire kingdom. The most important tax the farmer paid was a tax for using the soil, called "terraticum" (La Monte, 1932). This tax was one-third of the whole crop, and was paid with the goods produced. This tax was not too heavy, compared to similar taxes levied in Europe. In Judaea and Samaria, in addition to this tax, another tax paid in wheat and barley was levied regularly by the Teutonic Order. There were also taxes on olive trees, groves planted mainly in Judaea and Samaria. This tax consisted of one-third of all oil produced from the grove. Apart from income tax derived from using the soil, the peasants had to pay taxes for the use of the pastures, forests and rivers as well. Taxes on sold or purchased goods were also collected at the market; however, some groups were exempt from the latter taxation. For example, Henry II of Champagne exempted the Genovese from these taxes (Ellenblum, 1998). The sale and purchase of land were also subjected to taxes. Towers and stations used specifically for the collection of taxes were scattered throughout the rural areas.

Crusader rulers had additional sources of income. In 1183, during a council it was decided that in light of high security expenses, it was necessary to levy new taxes from the general population. This new tax was called a "direct" tax because its income derived from the taxation of landed property, rather than from the taxation of productive activities. This tax was unique, and was only many years later implemented in Europe. This tax was collected from the general population, including Christians, the church, knights from the different orders, and peasants. People had to assess their own property in front of four representatives from the settlement, who then collected this tax in the name of the king.

An additional income for the Kingdom of Jerusalem came from the taxes levied in commercial transactions, which were paid to the courthouses of the port (Cathena Court) or to the market court (Funda Court) (Patterson, 1964). The existence of these courthouses indicates the importance and the development of the country's commerce. The taxes that were paid differed according to the type of product, the export country, and where the goods were produced. In specific cases, a tax exemption was granted. This could lead to disagreements, which were often settled in the courthouses. The goods exported from the lands under Crusader rule came from the regional production centers, such as Judaea and Samaria. Local products geared towards international markets included textiles, glass, dyes, sugar, olive oil and sacred vessels. One of the most outstanding products was dyes, which were produced in a few centers in the kingdom, most of them located in Judaea and Samaria. Indigo was grown in the Jordan Valley, henna was collected from the Dead Sea, and balsam was grown in the area of Jericho. Sugar plantations were also established in several places throughout Judaea and Samaria. Thus, sugar was exported to Europe in the form of syrup and crystals or as a powder, which had undergone varying degrees of refining. Benjamin of Tudela mentions the export of sugar. All income from taxes collected on exported goods was turned over to the king. The collection of this tax was often given to private individuals who profited from it.

Thus, the economic foundation of the Kingdom of Jerusalem stemmed from agriculture and industry, which provided the kingdom with most of its revenues.

A. The agricultural output of Judaea and Samaria

"A land of wheat and barley, and vines and fig-trees and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey" (Deuteronomy chapter 8, 9). It seems that pilgrims coming from Europe were accustomed to black bread rather than white bread; to wine rather than grapes; and to dairy products rather than olive oil. Believers realized that this was indeed "the land of milk and honey". Most of the people engaged in agriculture were born in the kingdom--both Muslims and Eastern Christians. However, there were attempts by the Franks to create agricultural settlements, especially in the 12th century; however, these attempts were not sufficient to change the general trend (Prawer, 1972).

Under Crusader rule, the area of Judaea and Samaria was densely populated --this area extended around the Judaean Mountains from Bethlehem in the south, through Jerusalem, to the area around Ramallah. The agricultural crops were extremely rich, in spite of the absence of irrigation facilities. An excessive demand for lands in the area of Judaea and Samaria led to an increase in land values in the area around Bethlehem in the north, Jerusalem, and al-Bireh and Ramallah. Not only peasants had a share in these lands, but also the nobility, military orders, churches and monasteries. The main concern of the latter two groups was the growing of vineyards. Peasants coming from the many villages scattered amidst the Judean Mountains tilled the land in the valley plains. The working of the terraced land was not easy, as it was often impossible to use animals for plowing. As a result, the peasants were forced to do their own plowing. A description of the local crops in this area is quite impressive, due to the variety of grains, fruits and plants concentrated in a relatively small area.

Sugar industry. According to the sources, it seems that the sugar industry in the Land of Israel first began in the 9th century, and significantly developed during the Crusader period. The Crusaders knew how to estimate the financial advantages of sugar and made sure to include it among the products taken as loot. With the consolidation of the kingdom, the Crusaders quickly discovered the methods of growth and production, as the expected profit from the sugar industry was used to further expand the kingdom's jurisdiction. The industry developed rapidly, quickly spurring international trade and the export of sugar to various European regions. Sugar appeared more profitable than other agricultural industries, and so began a process of expansion into new areas. Over time, changes occurred in the technological field. The Crusaders in the east specialized in producing sugar and became well known in Europe as experts in this area. The Crusaders used waterpower to crush and squeeze sugarcane, instead of the dry grinding methods or the use of animal power. For this purpose, mills resembling water mills were erected. The Crusaders also improved the means of transportation from the field to the manufacturer; they used boats to transport the sugarcane, just like in Europe, in addition to the traditional use of draft animals. Three main factors led to the prosperity of the Frankish sugar industry: significant technological enhancements, changes in organizational concepts, and an expanding demand with the development of the trade system. In all of the areas along the Jordan Valley--from the northern center in Nablus to the southern center in Jericho--an abundance of sugar was produced, as testified byjacques Vitry in the early 13th century: "The fields beside the river run sweet from very dense sugarcane, which is mostly used to produce sugar. Sugarcane is filled with a unique sweet liquid, produced by crushing the canes and cooking their juice. First, a sort of honey is produced, and then sugar. It is called cannamele (i.e. canes and honey) (Peled, 1986). Sugar crops grown on plantations were intended for marketing purposes, while the preparation of syrup and other sweeteners were used for flavoring and medical products. Evidence shows that there were several mills near Nablus. Wadi Franjieh (west of the town of Karima) shows the remains of an aqueduct built on arches. The aqueduct leads to a mill, around which fragments of sugar tools were discovered. In Wadi Rajib (Tel Alekos), remains were also discovered, indicating that the nearby stream was used to run a mill. Beside the mill, sugar tools were discovered. Wadi alfar'a (Tirtza) is the most important source of water for the city of Nablus, and its flow contributed to the production of sugar. Near the Phasael River, the remains of three mills were discovered. There is also evidence of sugar manufacture near Jericho. The water of the Ein A'uja spring was used to irrigate farmland and operate the mills. It is believed that fragments of pipes found in the area were used to water the sugarcane plantations. After summing up the historical evidence, it appears that the areas along the Jordan Valley were among the wealthiest regions in sugar production in the entire Land of Israel.

Flour manufacturing. The Crusaders erected flour mills throughout the entire country, following the system then common in Europe (Benevisti, 1976). The only difference was technical. Lacking Europe's wide rivers, the Crusaders had to adapt to the new conditions. This led to the creation of mills more advanced even than those in Europe. The new mills were characterized by a horizontal wheel that was better suited to the country's conditions, where the flow of water is slow, and where the rivers are narrow and dry for part of the year. The flow from a horizontal wheel was thus better suited to the local conditions than that of the vertical wheel used in Europe. According to Crusader sources, there were flour mills in Judaea and Samaria near Nablus and Jericho. Most mills from the Crusader period have not survived to the current day. Income derived from the flour mills was a monopoly in the hand of the king or the local lord.

Crops of wheat, barley and other grains. The white bread eaten in the region was one of the most outstanding products purchased by the pilgrims, whether baked in local ovens or in the ovens of the new settlers. Areas where grain crops were grown in the Crusader period were different than those of today. First-rate wheat crops were grown between the main ridges of the hills of Judaea and Samaria (and also in the Jezreel Valley and the plains). Although wheat was a more desired grain, in a number of territories barley was grown because it was easier to cultivate. Barley was grown around Bethlehem. Other than wheat and barley, the main types of grain included sorghum, oats and buckwheat, all grown for human and animal consumption.

Vineyards and wine industry. The most conspicuous fruit in the Kingdom of Jerusalem was the grape, both grapes for consumption and grapes for wine production. The Crusader conquest brought great changes in vine growing and wine manufacture. Unlike Islam, which allowed for the growing of grapes for consumption only, there was a great demand for wine from the Crusaders, which led to the cultivation of many vineyards scattered around the kingdom and to the promotion of wine production. The area of Judaea and Samaria was rich in vineyards planted by the Crusaders, all along the road from Sabastya to Jerusalem, and around Nablus, Ramallah, Jerusalem, in the area comprised of Bethlehem in the north till Hebron in the south. The church was responsible for the supervision and the growing of the crops. For example, monks of the Holy Sepulcher Church settled in the villages on the road from Jerusalem to Ramallah. The growing demand for vineyards resulted in the fact that these crops were more profitable than many other types, and sources report that the military orders turned wheat fields into vineyards.

Olive crops and olive presses. Olive groves were always an important economic factor in the Land of Israel (along with wheat and cotton crops). Olive groves were everywhere, but the main area of production was located in Judaea and Samaria. In Samaria (Sabastya) in the early 12th century a Christian pilgrim describes olive trees planted in groves. Extensive olive groves also grew around the cities of Hebron, Jerusalem and Nablus. Unlike the flour mills, oil presses were not considered a monopoly and many such presses were established in the country. This testifies to the antiquity of this industry but, in fact, only several oil presses from the Crusaders period were discovered in Israel. One of the three oil presses from this period is located in the area of Samaria, in the city of Betunia near Ramallah, and belongs to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. The other two are located on the outskirts ofjerusalem.

Legumes, vegetables and fruits. Among the types of legumes grown in the Land of Israel during the Crusader period, the sources describe the fava bean, peas, lentils, beans and chickpeas (Prawer, 1972). Among fruits and vegetables cultivated were cucumbers, watermelons, melons, onion, garlic, pears and cherries. Apples were grown around Jerusalem and nuts could be found in small quantities in Samaria. Among the spices that were mentioned are mustard, fennel, sage and rue, which mainly grew in Kiryat Anavim near Jerusalem. Along the Jordan Valley palms were gathered for the production of dates, and Jericho was well known for its date palm groves. The dates were eaten fresh or dried. In addition, sweet juice was produced from dates, the ancient "honey". Jericho was a kind of natural greenhouse for tropical plants and fruits. Some of these fruits could also be found along the Jordan Valley. The fruit of the sycamore tree, which played an important role in the country's economy before the arrival of the Crusaders, did not play a substantial role during this period; it was grown in the area around Hebron. The carob tree was grown in the mountainous regions of Judea and Samaria, and was used as a commodity provision for the Third Crusader armies besieging Acre.

B. Manufacturing industry of Judaea and Samaria

Metals. Copper and iron were the two major metals smelted at that time. Besides weapons production, the metals were also used for the production of tools for home use. There is evidence of high quality work among the Frankish blacksmiths. In Judaea and Samaria, Nablus is mentioned as one of the main cities where expert blacksmiths resided.

Silk and textile manufacture. Cotton and linen were grown in Israel in large quantities. Bouchard de Zion, who visited the country, wrote that "cotton grows in bushes tall as a person. The leaves are similar to the leaves of the vines, but smaller. On them, pods are growing and inside them is the cotton". Cotton was used to make textiles. The weaving took place in small workshops in the rural areas. Any cloth that was sold had to meet the standards of length and width--the standards mandated by law. Silk was the most expensive fabric and of the highest quality at that time, and had been produced in the Land of Israel since the Byzantine period (Babcock & Krey, 1994). The weaving was local, and the raw material was exported to Europe, where its quality led to its great demand. The dying of the textiles was a royal monopoly. Benjamin of Tudela writes that "in Jerusalem there was a plant (for producing color), which the Jews bought from the king so that nobody could produce the color except for them" (Benevisti, 1976). First, the garment was soaked in water to shrink it; then it was immersed in the required color, usually a bright color, following the methods of the Franks.

Soap. Soap manufacturing centers during the Crusaders period were located in Nablus. The production of soap, made from olive oil and alkali, was under the royal monopoly.

Salt. Salt was obtained by mining in Mount Sodom or the Dead Sea, located at the edge of thejudean Desert.

Clay. Clay was produced from the Dead Sea, for medical needs. Ftolos wrote that "the clay extracted from the lake is useful to physicians" (Benevisti, 1976). Clay and salt from the Dead Sea were produced mainly by residents of the Tekoa settlement near Bethlehem.

Souvenirs. One of the most important industries in the country was the preparation of ritual objects and souvenirs. This production was intended for export or for sale to pilgrims; these souvenirs included crosses, lamps, pendants, vases and holy books inlaid with ivory or gold with olive wood engraving. The kingdom monitored the quality of the products, and merchants and craftsmen were concentrated in specific areas.

Building materials. The outcome of a lack of suitable trees for building resulted in stone being the most important building material used in the Land of Israel. Only doors, shutters and other internal parts were manufactured from wood. The building blocks hewn during the Crusader period were cut accurately and were of a similar shape and size. The Crusaders' masons were very professional and took into account the characteristics of the different stones, adjusting the amount of mortar that was required. Mortar produced during the Crusader period was prepared from a combination of soil, lime, sand and clay. The mason's signature, scratched on the stones, was comprised of Latin letters, crosses of various sizes and special geometric shapes.

Pottery. Frankish pottery was heavily influenced by the surrounding and contemporary Arab pottery, and mimicked it in both form and technique, so it's sometimes difficult to distinguish between Frankish vases and Arab or Mameluke ones. Large portions of the pottery are black, decorated with geometrical motifs. Some of the production was sold in the country, but most was exported to Europe.

Glass. Glass-making is one of the earliest industries in Israel, and its invention is attributed to the Phoenicians. William of Tyre wrote that "high quality glass is made from local sand; the material is suitable for making

beautiful vases known for their transparency". Glass sheets were produced for the preparation of windows and colorful mirrors; blown glass was used in the preparation of bottles, jars and chalices (Babcock & Krey, 1943). The Venetians, who enjoyed self-government in certain quarters of the cities, brought local glass-makers back to Venice, which resulted in the development of the Venetian glass industry, well known until today for its quality.

Crusaders and heritage tourism in the Holy Land nowadays

Heritage is regarded as one of the fastest and significant growing components of tourism (Herbert, 1995; Alzua, O'Leary & Morrison, 1998). Heritage tourism studies generally include the analysis of museums, landscapes, artefacts, and activities that concentrate on representing different aspects of the past (Halewood & Hannam, 2001). Historically, Crusader heritage tourism has its origins in the wider development of heritage tourism in Europe. Conventional museums have always included some material from the period.

In the Holy Land there are some sites that related to crusader heritage. Acre and Jerusalem are the main ones. Acre has been continuously inhabited for the last four millennia and is therefore today one of the oldest continuously inhabited towns in the world. Despite its social and economic problems, Acre's Old City is most famous today for its extraordinarily well-preserved underground Crusader city; it also boasts numerous other important archaeological sites (Shoval, 2013). In 2001, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) added Acre's Old City to its list of World Heritage sites. The Acre development company states that 250,000 visitors annually came to the underground Crusader City ('Crusader Halls')--the city's main paid attraction--between the years 2006 and 2011. There are several Crusader sites in Jerusalem. The Crusaders rebuilt the Church of Holy Sepulcher, and the Knights Templar gathered there on Christmas Day 1119 (O'Gorman & Beveridge, 2012). The Crusaders also built a church in Kidron valley that contained the Tomb of the Virgin Mary. Queen Melisende was buried there. There are Hospitaler sites in the Jewish quarter, remains of a hospice, hospital and church, St. Mary of Germans. The Knights Templar, used the Al Aqsa mosque, called Templum Solomonis by the Crusaders, and the underground arches of Solomon's stables. The Dome of the Rock functioned as a church.


The Crusader period in the Land of Israel can be divided into two periods. The first period during which the capital was injerusalem began in 1099 and ended in 1187. This period culminated with the famous Battle of Hattin. During the second period, the Crusaders moved their capital to Acre, which was eventually captured by the Mamluks in 1291, thus ending the Crusaders' rule in the country. We can best understand the importance of Judaea and Samaria by appreciating the economy of the 11th-!3th centuries, when agricultural output was very high and when there was significant manufacturing activity. The loss of Jerusalem was, of course, both spiritually and militarily painful, but another seldom-discussed loss was that of the country's agricultural output and manufacturing activity. The second Crusader Kingdom's fate was therefore essentially sealed.

In the Holy Land there are many sites that related to crusader heritage. Acre and Jerusalem are the ones best known (and most easily visited) by tourists. There are however dozens of other (mostly undeveloped/only partially dug) ruins in Judea and Samaria. We recommend developing crusader tourism in areas within Judea and Samaria which are not visited today. Tourism would include organized tours to different geographical areas in judea and Samaria.


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Received on July 12, 2014.

Jeffrey KANTOR * Samuele ROCCA **, Ze'ev SHTUDINER ***

* Department of Economics and Business Administration, Ariel University, Ariel 40700, Israel,

** School of Architecture, Ariel University, Ariel 40700, Israel,

*** Department of Economics & Business Administration, Ariel University, Ariel 40700, Israel, (corresponding author).

* The Crusades continued till 1291, and soon after the fall of Jerusalem, the Crusaders were successful in reestablishing a kingdom, albeit this time its territories were concentrated along the coast. Afterwards, from 1191 till 1291, the chronological span of the Second Crusader Kingdom was centered in Acre. As Judaea and Samaria were not in the hands of the Crusaders, we shall not dwell on it, even though there was still a Crusader Kingdom, the so-called Kingdom of Saint Jean d'Acre.
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Author:Kantor, Jeffrey; Rocca, Samuele; Shtudiner, Ze'ev
Publication:Journal of Tourism Challenges and Trends
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Geographic Code:7PALE
Date:Dec 1, 2014
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