Archaeology and History
A roadside station that was on the Roman "Caesar" road, the main road from Ashkelon to Jerusalem, leads travelers to the natural landscape of freshwater springs, at Ein Tanur one can enter and splash in the water, it is worthwhile to have a flashlight and a change of clothes.
Khirbet Hanoot - Khirbet el Khan in its ancient name served as a roadside station on the Roman Caesars' road, which began in Gaza, crossed HaEla Valley and ascended to Jerusalem via the mountains. At the site, they discovered an ancient structure and mosaic floor, an ancient water reservoir, an ancient winepress with a treading floor paved with a white mosaic, a remnant of a Byzantine church floor from the 6th century CE. This church later became a roadside station, the mosaic underwent iconoclasm (destruction of human and animal figures by Islam). The mosaics' geometrical shapes and Greek lettering was preserved.
Ein Mata - a trail that leads from Khirbet Hanoot leading to Ein Mata, a spring that flows into Nachal Zanoach, which flows near Moshav Mata. The stream descends from the moshav to the west and after a kilometer, a freshwater spring appears from its grove, the spring forms at the base of an agricultural terrace, and stems among tall eucalyptus trees, fig trees, and carob trees.
Ein Tanur - Another spring that flows from the same channel to the west of Ein Mata is Ein Tanur. The spring water flows from a niche that is shaped like a question mark with walls made of ashlar stones. The ceiling is cut in classic Gothic style, they go straight about 15 meters and turn sharply to the left, continue another 6 meters until the edge of the spring, and the water becomes shallow, clear, and pleasant for walking upright. You can sit in the water and enjoy the wonderfully quiet time, then rest in the shade of the fig trees.