History of Archaeological Exploration at Tell es-Sultan/Jericho
The site of Teli es-Sultan and, more extensively, the Jericho Oasis have attracted pilgrims and travelers since antiquity as one of the major holy places in Palestine and the seat of a flourishing Christian community of Gentile lineage since the first century C.E. It was mentioned by the Pilgrim of Bordeaux in 333 C.E. as well as by the pilgrims Egeria (381-384 C.E.), Paula (a noble Roman woman, 404 C.E.), the arehdeacon Theodosius (530 C.E.), and the Anonymous Pilgrim from Piacenza (570 C.E.), each of them leaving a written account of the places and the numerous churches and monasteries present in the oasis. The memory of the site was preserved also during the Middle Age, when Jericho was mostly deserted as a result of the insecurity of its surroundings. With the Islamic establishment in the area, the Jerusalem to Jericho road became one of the main routes used to make a pilgrimage to Mecca, as echoed in Arab sources. European travelers continued to visit Jericho from the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries C.E.