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Travel to West Bank: Deir Istiya and Salfit: Photo 1

world pictures West Bank: Deir Istiya and Salfit

Much of Deir Istiya, but not all of it, is ruinous, like this structure, with the characteristic three-layer walls and domed ceilings of traditional West Bank houses. Locally abundant lime was burned to make mortar; the domes were built of stone and mortar supported during construction by a heap of massed branches and earth, removed when the mortar hardened. There is precious little wood in these houses, except for the doors; even the windows were arched so that beams were not required.

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