Tel Megiddo National Park
Meet Tel Megiddo National Park
Megiddo was one of the strongest and most important cities of Canaan. The remains of the palaces, temples, gates, and the sophisticated water system of the city are evidence of its great power.
Points of interest
- Exhibition and film of the history of the site
- The remains of the Canaanite city
- The remains of the Israelite city
- The underground water system and underground tunnel
The Canaanite period
The city gate and Canaanite palace: The main find from the Canaanite period are the city gate (15th century BCE), and the original stone paving from the period that leads to it. Alongside it is the Canaanite palace – the remains of a vast structure of rooms built around a central courtyard. In one of the rooms, spectacular items were found, including gold objects, hundreds of pieces of decorated ivory jewelry, and a washroom paved with shells.
The temple area: An interesting site in the “large section” excavated by the early archaeological expeditions at Megiddo. In this area, the earliest remains of the site were found. The temples were used as a ritual site for some 2000 years, until settlement by the Israelites (12th century BCE). In the large section, which was excavated down to the bedrock, more than 20 layers of settlement were found.
“The Aegean Tomb”: In Gottlieb Schumacher’s excavations, a pit was found above the temple area, in which there were the remains of an underground structure. The structure, which had an arched ceiling, was found empty and it is hard to date it or draw any conclusions as to its use. It appears to have been constructed in the Late Bronze Age or Early Iron Age, and may have served for ritual purposes, or as a burial chamber.
Early Israelite period
The city gate: Not far from the Canaanite gate, a city gate from the 10th century BCE was found. The gate was part of the fortifications of the kings of Israel, and appears to have been built in the days of King Ahab. The stables found at two different sites at Megiddo were apparently also built at this time. The buildings are long, and contain evidence associating them with horses, such as troughs, and beams for tethering animals.
Palaces and the Assyrian quarter: Large buildings constructed of ashlar stone were found at Megiddo, which were used by the city governors and were Megiddo’s public buildings. Near the Eastern Palace parts of a residential neighborhood have been excavated, including a four-room house – a building in a style characteristic of Israelite construction during First Temple times. The Southern Palace is a block of public buildings in a style that was common in the 10th century BCE interior, known as bit-hilani (house of pillars). Buildings of this kind have a large courtyard surrounded by rooms built on a number of stories, a magnificent entrance hall, and a large “throne room”. Also from this period is a large round pit, whose walls are faced with rough stone. The excavators found grains of wheat in it, supporting its identification as a public granary.
An Assyrian quarter was also found, with six straight streets. This quarter served as a residential neighborhood after the Assyrian conquest (732 BCE). Nearby, the remains of a magnificent building were found, the only one of its kind in Israel, similar in plan to Assyrian palaces, although on a smaller scale.
The water system: The jewel in the crown at Megiddo is the vast water system, apparently from the days of King Ahab (9th century BCE). The system was intended to bring water into the city without having to go outside the walls. The inhabitants of Megiddo dug a huge shaft, 25 m deep, from which they quarried out a horizontal tunnel that extends 70 m to a spring in a cave outside the city walls. Not far from the shaft of the water system is the “gallery” – the name given to a narrow, hidden passage leading from inside the walls to the spring at the foot of the city. The passage is covered, so as to conceal those passing along it. The gallery shortened the way to the spring. Before it was built, the residents had to go out of the city gate on the other side of Megiddo.
Tel Megiddo 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
- souvenir store
- Souvenir shop
- Explanatory film
- Guided visit by advance reservation
On Road 66 between Megiddo junction and Yokne’am junction, some 2 km north-west of Megiddo junction.
Bus no. 056 from Afula to Yokneam Ilite – for details, contact Egged Information.
|Adult in group||₪ 24.00|
|Child in group||₪ 12.00|
|Israeli senior citizen||₪ 14.00|