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Gamla is an ancient city in the Golan Heights. Its name derives from the Hebrew Word "Gamal" ("Camel") probably because the hill on which it was situated resembles a camel's hump. The city was discovered in 1968, following the Six Day War, and excavated in 1976. The synagogue, the mikvah and the oil-press are amongst the notable structures of the site.

It is possible that an early Bronze Age settlment existed in Gamla. It is mentioned that the city was surrounded by a wall in the days of Joshua. The Jews, returning from the Babylonian Captivity, settled in the area and king Alexander Jannaeus founded the famous city on the hill. During the Great Jewish revolt the city was a center of jewish resistance and was fortified by the command of Josephus Flavius. An initial roman assult failed to take the city, yet the second managed to penetrate the forifications (67 AD). 9,000 were dead by the end of the siege: several thousands of them were slaughtered and many others jumped to their deaths.


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