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Tourism Ministry, U.S. Consulate Inaugurate Conservation Project

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JERUSALEM, March 1, 2012 (WAFA) Tourism Minister Khouloud Daibes and US Consul General Daniel Rubinstein Thursday hosted a ceremony at the historical mound of Tel al-Sultan in Jericho to commemorate the completion of a conservation project funded by the State Departments Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation, according to a press release issued by the U.S. Consulates Press Office.

The project, entitled, 'Restoration and Protection of Trench One, Tel al-Sultan,' was implemented by the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, which built an observation platform and bridge over Trench One. The project allows for improved safety at the site and ease of viewing of the Neolithic Tower inside Trench One.

Speaking at the opening of the ceremony, Rubinstein thanked Daibes for her support of the project.

This conservation and preservation project will help ensure that Palestinians and tourists alike will have the opportunity to enjoy the great treasures to be found here at Tel al-Sultan for many years to come,' he said.

The US established the Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation in 2001 to assist countries around the world in their efforts to preserve historic sites, museum collections, and traditional forms of expression, such as music, dance, and language.

The Palestinian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities was selected to receive this award in a highly competitive worldwide selection process.

Tel al-Sultan is located in the West Bank city of Jericho. At 250 meters below sea level, and with a history that dates back to the Neolithic period, Jericho is the lowest permanently inhabited site on earth and believed to be the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world.

Excavations in the last century have uncovered the cultural history of Jericho, which stretches over 10,000 years. Tel al-Sultan, with its diverse archeological offerings, is one of the most visited sites in the West Bank.

T.R./M.S.

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