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An ancient city comes alive

You can almost imagine what Israel's Beit She'an looked like in its heyday.


October 5, 2016 | Latest Photo Prev Next
Ancient city of Beit She'an in IsraelAncient city of Beit She'an in IsraelPhoto: Alexey Stiop / Shutterstock
October 5, 2016 | Latest Photo

When you look at the ruins of Beit She'an, an ancient city located in northeastern Israel, it's easy to picture kids running around, friends meeting up for lunch and merchants rolling wagons along the stone streets, selling their wares in old world street markets.

Beit She'an is one of the oldest cities ever discovered. According to archaeologist G.M. Fitzgerald, who studied a large mound in the city, the settlement began in the sixth to fifth millennia B.C.E.

Ancient pottery, inscriptions, buildings, baths and graves have all been found in the area, and the town seems to have been rebuilt repeatedly throughout history. It's been both a thriving metropolis and small village many times over the ages.

Today, about 17,000 people live in the municipality. It's a center for growing cotton, and it also includes a textile mill and clothing factory. It has a working relationship with Cleveland, Ohio, which they call their "sister city."

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Related Topics: Archaeology