The lowest (258 m below sea-level) and the oldest town on earth strategically located on the border between the desert and the sown, lush green against the surrounding dust-brown, Jericho opens many windows on the past.
Tropical in summer but beautifully mild in winter, the climate attracted prehistoric nomads to the area. They settled at Tel Es-Sultan near a powerful perennial spring (En es-Sultan; 4500 litres per minute) whose water is still distributed throughout the oasis by a complex system of gravity-flow irrigation, producing abundant fruit, flowers, and spices.
The first massive defense wall was erected around the settlement c.8000 BC, the inhabitants having passed from the status of wandering food-gatherers to settled food-producers. The town beside the spring had fallen to many waves of invaders from the desert before it was captured by Joshua and the Israelites c.1200 BC. Occupation of the tel ends at the time of the Babylonian exile (586 BC).
Source: The Holy Land by Jerome Murphy- O’Connor