An initiative dubbed the “Sanhedrin Trail,” launched by the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) in cooperation with the National Religious Education Administration, will see the construction of the Jewish state’s first “smart” hiking trail completed by the spring of 2018.
The 70-kilometer (43.5-mile) trail will span the Lower Galilee region between Tiberias and Beit She’arim National Park, and will interface with an augmented reality-based mobile app, designed to integrate historic sites with current landscapes.
The app will virtually reconstruct heritage sites from the Second Temple period more than 2,000 years ago, when the 71 members of the Great Sanhedrin court presided on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount.
“People such as Rabbi Akiva and Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi, the members of the Sanhedrin who were active here 2,000 years ago, determined to a great extent much of how our lives are run today,” said Yair Amitzur, the IAA’s antiquities inspector for the Eastern Galilee, reported Israel21c.
“The establishment of the trail and walking on it will connect those who live here today with the atmosphere and frame of mind of that period,” Amitzur added.
Volunteers and Israeli high school students began working on the first section of the trail in March, with financing provided by the Landmarks Project of Israel’s Ministry of Jerusalem and Heritage. Regional councils and communities along the trail are also collaborating on the initiative.