OUTSIDE OF JERUSALEM: Beit She’an
Beit She’an National Park
No one can afford to miss a visit to this biblical/historical/archeological partially restored gem of a site! Conquered by Egypt in the 15th century B.C.E. Beit She’an became a Canaanite city several centuries later and eventually was taken over by the Philistines. It was on the walls of this Philistine city, located on a tel above the main excavations, that the bodies of King Saul and his son Jonathan were hung.
Although there are interesting finds in the ancient tel, the most fascinating are from the Roman-era pagan city of Scythopolis located at its foot. This city was magnificent, combining Roman glory and Greek culture. A typical commercial byway, called a cardo, can still be seen today, along with the forum, marketplace, Roman bathhouse, and theater. Still in use, the Roman theater and its adjacent amphitheater are among the most impressive so far discovered in Israel.