The subject of this month’s video blog is Megiddo, one of the richest, most diverse archaeological sites in Israel and perhaps the entire Middle East. Megiddo means “Hebrew” in English, an appropriate name for a site that marks not only so many of Israel’s layers of civilizations, but those that existed back to 6000 BCE, long before either Biblical ancient Israel was established or the modern country of Israel was formed in 1948.
Located at the foot of Mt. Carmel, Megiddo occupies a strategic site both militarily and economically, located along an international commercial highway. That’s why it became one of the most important centers in the country and makes a fascinating stop on a tour of Northern Israel as one approaches the Galilee region.
Megiddo’s various archaeological digs show twenty different strata from before Egypt’s Middle Kingdom in 2000 BCE, through King David’s reign around 1000 BCE, through the Alexander the Great conquering by Greeks, through Roman times to the 4th century CE.
It’s not a small thing to look deep into the shaft of stone and descend dozens of steps and several hundred feet to move through these various strata. You’ll see a hearty group of explorers in the video clip, going down, down, down and then through the famous tunnel that enabled ancient Israelites to survive enemy attacks because they were able to still get water from outside the city walls, undetected.
What makes this more than just a pile of rocks that we should care about? By finding jugs and bowls, ax heads and spearheads, domestic structures and temple remains, city gates and more, we gain a more accurate understanding of what life was like in the Biblical period as well as prove the veracity of Scriptural accounts that were inaccurately dismissed as fiction in earlier times. Just one example is discovery of the remains of Solomon’s stables from the 9th century BCE.
So enjoy your armchair tour of Megiddo and let us know what you think in the comments below. We appreciate hearing from you.
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