PLace

al-Murassas

Place
al-Murassas — المُرَصَّص
District
Galilee
Average Elevation
100 m
Subdistrict
Baysan
Distance from Baysan
7 km
Population
Year Arab Total
1944/45 460
1931 381
Land Ownership (1944/45) in dunums
Year Arab Jewish Public Total
1944/45 9936 3002 1539 14477
Land Use (1944/45) in dunums
Use Arab Jewish Public Total
Non-Cultivable & Built-up (Total)
Use Public Total
Non-Cultivable 1539 1539
Built-up 26
26 1539 1565 (11%)
Cultivable (Total)
Use Arab Jewish Total
Cereal 9894 3002 12896
Plantation and Irrigable 16 16
9910 3002 12912 (89%)
Number of Houses (1931)
89

The village stood on a low ridge that jutted up between Wadi al-'Ashsha (to the north) and Wadi Jalud (to the south). It overlooked the terrain to the south, which gradually descended to Wadi Jalud. A secondary road connected it to a highway running between Baysan and the village of Afula, to the northwest, which ultimately led to Haifa, on the coast. Other secondary roads linked it to several neighboring villages. A few springs west of the village, together with wells that collected rain water, satisfied the water needs of the villagers. In 1596 al-Murassas was a farm that paid taxes to the Ottoman government. The Swiss traveler Burckhardt, who visited the area in the early nineteenth century, mentioned it but did not provide any description.

In the late nineteenth century, al-Murassas was a small village, situated on high ground and built of adobe bricks, surrounded by farmland. A small forest lay to the west of the village site. The village plan was circular in shape, with the houses concentrated around the crossroads at the village center. A few houses were also built on the eastern heights of the village. Of the 460 people living in al-Murassas, 450 were Muslims and 10 were Christians. The villagers worked in agriculture, which was based on grain and vegetables, and planted the farmlands to the west and north of the village. In 1944/45 a total of 9,894 dunums was allocated to cereals; 16 dunums were irrigated or used for orchards. An ancient pool in the southern part of the village, called al-Fakht, contained a cistern.

There are no Israeli settlements on village lands. Sde Nachum , founded in 1937 some 3 km to the south of the site, was built on the lands of the town of Baysan. Beyt ha-Shitta , established in 1935 on land purchased from the village of Shatta, is 4 km west-southwest of the site.

The village site is part of an agricultural area that is exploited by the settlements of Sde Nachum and Beyt ha-Shitta. The only structures in the area are telephone poles and a small shed. A small tell on the site, surrounded by plowed fields, is littered with rubble.