Biblical Archaeology Review 31:2, March/April 2005

A Country Gentleman’s Estate

Unearthing the Splendors of Ramat Hanadiv

By Yizhar HirschfeldMiriam Feinberg Vamosh

On a ridge about 3 miles east of Caesarea, deep in the Carmel range, Baron Edmond de Rothschild is buried alongside his wife Adelaide. The Baron was a key 19th-century Zionist whose support enabled a number of nascent Jewish settlements to survive. He provided these early pioneers with land, homes, agricultural equipment and education in agronomy. Wishing to remain anonymous, however, he was widely referred to simply as Ha-Nadiv Ha-Yadua, the Well-Known Benefactor or simply Ha-Nadiv, the Benefactor. Rothschild died in Paris in 1934, but in 1954 his remains were reinterred at their present location, now known as Ramat Hanadiv—the Heights of the Benefactor. From Ramat Hanadiv to the west, a beautiful vista spreads out toward the coastal plain and the Mediterranean Sea. To the east the fertile valley (the Valley of Hanadiv) is bordered by the northern edge of the Samaria Hills.

The foundation that Rothschild left supported the recent excavations at Ramat Hanadiv, which I led. And it is not entirely inappropriate that the excavations revealed one of the most magnificent country villas in Israel—indeed in this part of the world.

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