When did the water Buffalo make its appearance in Eretz Israel?

Z. Amar, SERRI Yaron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The jamus (Bubalus bubalis), or water buffalo, was a familiar sight in Eretz Israel and Syria as a common species of domesticated bovine and was an integral element of swamp life until about fifty years ago. The article discusses when the jamus made its appearance in this region. The identification of the jamus with the buffalo (Deut. 14:5) or with other animals is open to various interpretations, and in effect there is no unequivocal evidence that it was extant in Eretz Israel and its environs until the beginning of the Middle Ages. In contrast, there is clear evidence that the jamus was brought to the region of greater Syria (al-Sham) at the beginning of the Arab Period (eighth century) and was raised for meat, milk, and skins in the marshy areas of the Coastal Plain and along the sources of the upper Jordan River.
Original languageHebrew
Pages (from-to)63-70
JournalCathedra: For the History of Eretz Israel and Its Yishuv
StatePublished - 2005

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