Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Also north 2: Beit She'an

We got to Beit She'an and knew there were substantial archaeological remains from the Roman city of Scythopolis that had stood on that site, and knew from the guidebooks that there was an amphitheater. So we got to this amphitheater and said "Hey, that's pretty cool." Certainly more extensive than anything we've seen from that period in Jerusalem or Istanbul.

The intersection of old and new:

Crying wolf: (The sign says that littering in the Beit She'an National Park is totally forbidden, and violators will be punished. Clearly the punishment must not be severe enough to be an effective deterrent. Nowhere in Israel is free of litter.)

Then we ventured further and realized that that amphitheater was nothing - just a little side attraction. There is an entire preserved city: (In the background is the Canaanite tell.)

The real amphitheater: (The stage is not original, and is used for performances.)

The city was destroyed in the earthquake of 749, and the collapsed buildings were just left there.

Aerial view from on top of the tell:

The kosher McDonald's is new. Since Scythopolis was mostly Greek/Roman, it wasn't kosher at the time.

Egyptian artifacts found in the tell, dating to the period when Egypt controlled the land of Israel. I hadn't realized that there was such a period -- funny enough that no one (including the Tanakh) bothered to tell us about this.

On the way back out to modern Beit She'an, sheep graze freely.

1 comment:

  1. Isn't it obvious from Melakhim A + B that the kingdoms of Yehudah and Israel were at various times provinces of either Egypt or Assyria?

    Presumably when Pharoah Nekho put his man on the throne in Jerusalem he left behind some soldiers and inscription makers. Beit She'an isn't even that far from Megido where his entourage killed Yoshiyahu.