Tel Hazor National Park
Meet Tel Hazor National Park
Tel Hatsor is identified with the biblical Hatsor – perhaps the greatest of the cities of the land of Israel in the Late Canaanite period.
Points of interest
- Solomon’s gate
- The Canaanite palace
- The water system
- Israelite fortress and ritual dais
- Residential building and storeroom from the Israelite period
- The passage between the lower city and the upper city
- Hatsor Antiquities Museum at Ayelet Hashacha
Points of interest in detail:
The visit to the tel focuses on the upper city.
Solomon’s gate: A gate with six rooms and two towers, dated to the 10th century BCE. The gate was built in a form that was common in this period, and is similar to the gates at Gezer and Megiddo. To the south of the gate are the remains of a casemate city wall from the same period (made of two parallel walls with a space between them, divided into chambers by partitions). Beneath the middle room in the southern wing of the gate, the basalt threshold of a Canaanite temple was found.
The Canaanite palace: The ruins of the palace are sheltered by a roof, protecting them from wear. The palace was used by the kings of Hatsor in the 14th – 13th centuries BCE. A ritual dais was uncovered in the palace, and at the top of the stairs leading to the entrance there are two giant basalt pillars. A throne room was found in the middle of the palace.
The water system: One of the jewels in the crown of the visit to the site, the water system comprises three parts. The access structure is made of large ashlar blocks. Alongside this, a vertical shaft has been excavated, penetrating through the ancient layers of the mound down to the bedrock. 3 m wide steps have been carved out along its walls. It is 45 m in depth. Where the shaft ends, a 25 m tunnel begins, sloping diagonally downwards to the water-bearing deposits. The purpose of the water system was to supply local residents with water even at times of drought, without having to draw it from the springs outside the city. Construction of the water system is attributed to the time of King Ahab.
Israelite fortress and altar: The west of the upper city was bounded by a 10th century [BCE] casemate wall. After this, and until the Hellenistic period, fortresses were built. The large fortress whose remains were found here is attributed to King Ahab. The building work is of an excellent standard of craftsmanship. In Ahab’s time, the spaces in the wall were filled in with earth and stones. Later considerable changes were made to the wall in preparation for the invasion of the Assyrian ruler Tiglath Pileser III, but to no avail. Alongside the fortress, a dais from the beginning of the Israelite period has been reconstructed.
Residential building and storeroom from the Israelite period: The buildings, from the 8th century BCE, were originally built over the Canaanite palace and were moved to the northern part of the upper city in order to conserve them. The residential building is of the four-area type typical of the Israelite period. The other building, which has two rows of pillars, served as a public storeroom.
The passage between the lower city and the upper city: Here, part of the wall was dismantled in order to reveal the basalt stairs which, in the Canaanite period, led from the upper to the lower city. From this point it is possible to see the remains of a large building, in the center of which is a ritual dais of smooth basalt stones daring to the Late Bronze Age. The surface of the dais is made of a single basalt slab, weighing around two tons. There are four indentations in the center of the slab, perhaps for a throne.
Hatsor Antiquities Museum (Ayelet Hashahar): The museum is situated by the entry gate to the kibbutz, and is a must for every visitor to the tel. The museum showcases fascinating exhibits found at Tel Hatsor, including photographs and maps of the excavations, finds from the temples and graves of Canaanite Hatsor, imported objects from neighboring countries – Egypt, Cyprus and Crete, and finds from the Israelite period.
Entry to the museum is for groups only, by arrangement with the staff of Tel Hatsor National Park.
Tel Hazor National ParkUseful Information
Entrance to the park closes one hour before cited closing timeSummer hours: Sunday–Thursday and Saturday: 17:00 - 08:00 Friday and holiday eves: 16:00 - 08:00 Winter hours: Sunday–Thursday and Saturday: 16:00 - 08:00 Friday and holiday eves: 15:00 - 08:00 Holiday eves: 13:00 - 08:00 Yom Kippur eve: 13:00 - 08:00
From both the north and the south – take Road 90 (Rosh Pina – Kiryat Shmona) in the direction of Ayelet Hashahar.
|Adult in group||₪ 19.00|
|Child in group||₪ 8.00|
|Israeli senior citizen||₪ 11.00|