Issue No.
14, June 1999 Latest update 9 of July 2007, at 6.25 am
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Taqou' village

The name of this village, located southeast of Bethlehem, probably means "the place for pitching tents," which reflects its location on the eastern edge of the southern hills where the wilderness begins. According to biblical records, this city was founded by Ephrathites from Bethlehem in the north and by Calebites from Hebron in the south. It seems to have served as an administrative center and was also a fortified city. The Old Testament prophet Amos was from the village of Taqou'. Today, there are ruins from a memorial, presumably to Amos, dating back at least to the first century. This memorial consists of a double cave over which stood a square structure ten meters on a side. Nearby stand the ruins of a Byzantine St. Nicholas church with mosaic floors, and a Monophysite monastery was also located here. The village continued to be important until at least the Crusader period. In more recent times, the village has been relocated about two kilometers west of the ancient site. The Christian inhabitants of Taqou' migrated to Bethlehem in the eighteenth century. Today it is a Muslim village, which is well known for its vegetables. Source: Mitri Raheb and Fred Strickert, Bethlehem Past and Present. Germany: Palmyra publishing house, 1998.
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