Tulkarem and Qalqilia
The prosperous town of Tulkarem is located 12 km from the Mediterranean Sea, and about 15 kilometres west of Nablus. Its location between the coastal plain and mountain of the central Palestine has made it an important stop along both trade and conquest over the course history. Originally inhabited by the Canaanites, its ancient name was Tur Karm, meaning the Mountain of Vineyards, because of its fertile land.
During the Ayyubid , and later the Mamluk period (1260-1516), the majority of Tulkarm’s lands were made part of a waqf (“religious trust”) to support the “Al-Madrasa al-Farisiyya” in Jerusalem, The mainstay of the Tulkarem ‘s economy was agriculture ,and fertile land producted grain ,citruses as well as fruits and olives.
Situated 12 km from the Mediterranean coast, Qalqilya was once a Canaanite city. Its name was derived from a Roman castle known as Qala’alia. This small town has the only zoo in Palestine, which was established in 1986.
Wadi Qana is a nature reserve with a network of caves. Excavations of one of these caves in 1980 found remains from the Neolithic and Chalcolithic periods, and the Early Bronze Age. The cave system is spread over five levels with an entrance on the uppermost level.
The cave was once used as a burial place, and pottery, flint, stone, ivory, and bone objects have been found there. Neolithic remains were found in the cave, including pottery vessels from the Yarmukian culture. The bulk of the objects date to the Chalcolithic period and consist of pottery, basalt, metal, bone, ivory jewellery, and human skeletal remains. The most distinctive find from the caves is a collection of copper, electrum, and gold objects. Some were made of almost pure gold and others of electrum with a 70:30 ratio of gold to silver. The gold and electrum of Wadi Qana represent the earliest production of this precious metal in Palestine to date.