Dinosaurs in Jerusalem

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It’s about a 5 minute drive from Jerusalem to the picturesque village (moshav) of Bet Zayit. Near the water tower, you will find the only site in the Holy Land where you can see dinosaur footprints

Bet Zayit was founded in 1949 in the midst of the Jerusalem Hills, and is known for its water reservoir and impressive dam.  The dam, in the Nahal Sorek ravine, is best seen from Jerusalem’s Ein Karem neighborhood, south of the Bet Zayit.

Although sneered at by some, one of the strangest, most fascinating sites in Israel is the Bet Zayit dinosaur site, even though it has been neglected for many years.

Leave your car in the center of the moshav, near the water tower.

Dinosaur footprints, Beit Zait, next to Jerusalem

Photo: Ron Peled

To the south, there is a courtyard with trees and a sign pointing in the direction of the dinosaur site. In the rock in the abandoned shelter under the trees you will be able to see the footprints of three-toed dinosaurs, to see how they walked, and to see the path they made. Most of the drawing that shows a reconstruction of the dinosaurs has been damaged, but you can still see what the dinosaurs were like. In the past, this area was swampy, which is why you can see the footprints.

Studies have shown that the footprints at the site are those of dinosaurs which could run on two legs. Professor Avnimelech of the Hebrew University devoted much of his research to dinosaurs and he believed that these dinosaurs were of the common Struthiomimus type.
The ostrich-like dinosaurs weighed only about 330 pounds,were about 8 feet tall and 13 feet long. A resident of Bet Zayit and his neighbor, tour guide Motke Sofer, discovered the footprints of the first Zionist dinosaur in the mid-20th century.

* You need to make advance reservations to get into the site.


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