NAME THAT COUNTRY

 

As our guide Jacob will tell you, Beit She’an (aka Scythopolis) is one of the world’s most extensively excavated Greco-Roman sites. Blessed with fertile land and abundant water, this strategic location at the convergence of the Jordan and Jezreel Valleys has been occupied at least since the 5th millennium BCE and holds remains from Canaanites, Egyptians, Philistines, Israelites, Greeks, Romans and Byzantines in 18 distinct layers. At its peak, as the main Roman Decapolis city, Beit She’an had a population of 40,000.

 

Can you name that country? 
See below for answers.

 

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Jezreel – Valley of Battles, Basket of Bread

The Jezreel Valley in Israel, also known as the Plain of Megiddo or Valley of Megiddo, is a flat, fertile valley just south of the lower Galilee between the Carmel Mountains to the west and the Jordan Valley to the east.

In ancient times, many groups fought here for control of the valley, which was a major regional thoroughfare and a coveted piece of land. The Roman Via Maris, an important trade route connecting Mesopotamia (Iraq), Egypt and Asia Minor (Turkey), passed through the valley and crossed the Carmel Mountains to the Mediterranean sea at the Aruna Pass, also known as the Megiddo Pass, controlled by the city of Megiddo. Excavations have uncovered over 20 successive layers of settlement at and around Megiddo dating from the 8th millennium BCE to the 6th century BCE, with significant settlement beginning in the middle of the 5th millennium BCE.

The area is rich with biblical sites. In the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Saul battled the Philistines and died here with his sons (1 Samuel 28:1-31:10), Jezebel had Naboath killed and confiscated his Jezreel Valley vineyard for her husband King Ahab (1 Kings 21-28), at the Harod Spring in the valley, Gideon assembled an army to fight and defeat the Midianites (Judges 7:1-8).

excavations at Tel Megiddo, photo by Itamar Grinberg, courtesy of the Israel Ministry of Tourism

excavations at Tel Megiddo, photo by Itamar Grinberg, courtesy of the Israel Ministry of Tourism

In the Christian Bible/New Testament, Megiddo in the Jezreel Valley is the site of the final battle between good and evil. Armageddon = Har Megeddon = the mountain of Megiddo (Revelation 16).

Today, the Jezreel Valley is a major agricultural area.

 

Foto Friday – Israel

For your viewing pleasure, some random images of Israel.

mosaic at Tabgha, photo courtesy of IMOT

mosaic at Tabgha, photo courtesy of IMOT

Mt. Tabor, photo courtesy of IMOT

Mt. Tabor, photo courtesy of IMOT

yarmulkas, photo by Noam Chen, courtesy of IMOT

yarmulkas, photo by Noam Chen, courtesy of IMOT

Jordan River, photo courtesy of IMOT

Jordan River, photo courtesy of IMOT

cranes in the Hula Valley, photo by Itamar Grinberg, courtesy of IMOT

cranes in the Hula Valley, photo by Itamar Grinberg, courtesy of IMOT

the Garden Tomb, Jerusalem, photo by Noam Chen, courtesy of IMOT

the Garden Tomb, Jerusalem, photo by Noam Chen, courtesy of IMOT

Akko (Acre), photo courtesy of IMOT

Akko (Acre), photo courtesy of IMOT

Holy Sepulchre Church, Jerusalem, photo by Noam Chen, courtesy of IMOT

Holy Sepulchre Church, Jerusalem, photo by Noam Chen, courtesy of IMOT

Circassians in traditional dress, photo by Itamar Grinberg, courtesy of IMOT

Circassians in traditional dress, photo by Itamar Grinberg, courtesy of IMOT

traditional Circassian dance & dress, photo by Itamar Grinberg, courtesy of IMOT

traditional Circassian dance & dress, photo by Itamar Grinberg, courtesy of IMOT

Circassian boy demonstrates a traditional dance move, photo by Itamar Grinberg, courtesy of IMOT

Circassian boy demonstrates a traditional dance move, photo by Itamar Grinberg, courtesy of IMOT

Anemones in bloom in the Galilee, photo by Itamar Grinberg, courtesy of IMOT

Anemones in bloom in the Galilee, photo by Itamar Grinberg, courtesy of IMOT

deer on Mount Carmel, photo by Itamar Grinberg, courtesy of IMOT

deer on Mount Carmel, photo by Itamar Grinberg, courtesy of IMOT

Rosh Hanikra, photo by Itamar Grinberg, courtesy of IMOT

Rosh Hanikra, photo by Itamar Grinberg, courtesy of IMOT

Jezreel Valley, photo courtesy of IMOT

Jezreel Valley, photo courtesy of IMOT

Church of the Primacy of Peter, Tabgh, photo by Itamar Grinberg, courtesy of IMOT