The site of Megiddo South of Nazareth is one of the three most important archeological examples of the urban biblical life uncovered in Israel. It’s populated history span more than 35 centuries and demonstrates many marvels through the Age of Bronze and the Age of Iron. In ancient times Megiddo was an important city-state.
A visit to the archeological ruins of Har Megiddo explores the biblical era of fortified cities where temples were common place. The site vibes with layers of cultural diversity that influenced the population of those days. The Book of Revelation mentions apocalyptic military gatherings at “Armageddon”, a name derived from the Hebrew “Har Megiddo” or “Mount Megiddo”. ‘Armageddon‘ has become a synonym for the end of the world.
Megiddo is exceptional in many ways. The group of temples from the beginning of the Bronze Era is unusually high and denotes a very high level of continuous cultural activity. Its underground trapping and supplying water system is mostly intact and shows great technological complexity that can only be organized by a highly centralized power. The creativity of the palaces, fortifications and urbanization planning is influenced by Egyptian, Syrian and Egenean styles and technologies, thus creating a particular style found in the local biblical cities of the Bronze and Iron age.
Megiddo was one of the most powerful cities of Canaan and old Israel. It used to control the commercial road of “via maris” linking Egypt, Syria and Anatolia to Mesopotamia. The 26 layers of ruins cover the rests of 30 cities. The water system has the interesting distinction of having been included inside the fortification walls. Its source at the foothills was excavated and adapted to accommodate an aqueduct of 80m bringing the water below a centralized well inside the city. To access the source, a secret passageway had to be used from inside the walls.
As a biblical site, Megiddo is a very rare and mostly unspoiled archeological wonder. Megiddo, Hazor and Beer Sheva have been mostly untouched and forgotten between the time of abandon (between the 10th and 7th century BC) until the beginning of the 1960s where their uncovering began.
Megiddo was first explored around 1903 by a German expedition. In 1925, an American team continued the project up to the war in 1939. The project stopped for two decades before continuing in the 60s and 70s. More targeted excavations were done since 1994 by the Tel-Aviv University. The site is exploited slowly and carefully to preserve the maximum amount of information for future generations of archeologists as new less destructive techniques will be developed to uncover the complex layers of ruins.
Join us for your chance to experience for yourself Israel’s layers of religion and history in our Christian 8 day tour!