A short account of Beit She’an, given by your Israel & Jerusalem private tour guide
Beit She’an is an 18,000-person city located in the Jordan Valley, and at the end of the Jezreel Valley. It is a modern city, but beneath many of its neighborhoods lies a Greco-Roman city, which was first built 2,300 years ago. At the center of the city’s ruins stands the ancient tel of Beit She’an, dating back approximately 6,000 years.
Pieces of history
Even though the first people settled there very early in time, there are only two important times for us:
- The Biblical time, especially the one in which Beit She’an was under Egyptian rule, during the 15th to the 12th centuries BCE. The palace of its governor was found on the tel. Three hundred years later, the Bible mentioned Beit She’an as one of the major cities under King Solomon’s rule, and also as the seat of the King’s governor.
- The Roman and Byzantine periods from the 1st century BCE to the 7th century CE. The Greek city, Nisa Scythopolis, that was founded on the hills around the tel, and developed later during the Roman time into a great city of about 50,000 inhabitants.Like all Roman cities, it had amazing streets, shopping centers and practical and cultural facilities of all kinds. All of this beauty came to end within minutes, during the Great Earthquake of 749 CE. Beit She’an never recovered as a city until modern times.
What are we going to see?
In our one-and-a-half-hour tour, we will wander through the ruins, and explore the western bath house, the main streets, fountain and markets, the remains of the temple and the theater.