Mt. Carmel view

Mt. Carmel, Israel




Brief History

Excavations on Mount Carmel in 1958 uncovered what is accepted as Elijah's altar, the cave where he lived, the fountain of Elijah, and the remains of an ancient monastery. The following photos show some of these ruins and surrounding caves in the Wadi Ain es Siah about 4 miles south of Haifa, Israel.

Crusaders on a pilgrimage to Mount Carmel in 1150 A.D. found a small monastery there housing Byzantine priests, who said that when their predecessors first arrived they had found the site occupied by a community of Jewish Christians who were conducting a house of studies and who claimed to be the spiritual heirs of a Jewish monastic Order which had lived and studied there since the days of Elijah and his School of the Prophets. The modern Catholic Monastic Order of Carmelites, who claim unbroken succession back to these ancient times, have a church on the peak a few miles north of the site which they call Stella Maris - "The Star of the Sea". On this peak they revere Mary of Carmel, whom Nazoreans know as Miryai and Miriam.

The ancient vegetarian Nazoreans are said to have had a Holy Temple and Monastery on Carmel where they worshipped both God and Goddess in the sacred groves, vineyards, high places, before stone altars, within caves and in constructed tents and shrines where they burned incense and prayed according to the movements of moon, sun and stars. It is likely that the site of the original caves, holy springs and structures used by the ancient Essene Nazoreans of Carmel lies in the Siah canyon depicted in the following photos.