Top 10 Best Archaeological Sites in Israel

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Before a visit to the Holy Land, some people may wonder, what are the 5 best Archaeological Sites in Northern Israel to visit?

The Holy Land has been home to many civilizations throughout the history tracing human existence back 1 million years ago.

This region is home to many Archaeological Sites.

Many of those sites have religious significance to our Christian faith.

Such parks include an ancient fortress town, a Byzantine city and ancient towns from the time of our Lord Jesus.

Including all of the best archeological sites in northern Israel is almost impossible as the holy land is home to so many excavations.

Nevertheless, we chose the 5 places we recommend you to include during your visit to the holy land.

You might also be interested in reading our article about the best archeological sites in the southern Holy Land.

So, what are the 5 best Archaeological Sites in Northern Israel?

  1. Beit She’an National Park

    We begin our list with Beit She’ans national park.

    One of the ancient Israelite cities built on a Tel called Tel Beit She’An that sat on an important crossroad connecting the Jordan Valley to the Jezreel Plain.

    This is the city where the first king of Israel was killed by the Philistines on Mount Gilboa (1 Samuel 31:3 )before they put his and his children’s bodies on the wall of Beit She’An

    The archaeological site holds the remanents of the ancient Hellenistic city of Scythopolis which Beit She’an stands upon today.

    The city was established in the 5th century B.C. by the Ptolemaic Greek Kingdom, on a hilltop south of Nahal Harod.

    Later the city was under the control of the Roman Empire.

    The Romans gave the city a new title, it became a Decapolis. It was the only one on the west side of the river Jordan, four were in Syria and five in Jordan.

    Unfortunately, the city’s ancient structures were mainly destroyed by the Galilee earthquake of 746 and the National Park holds the latest revealed excavations of this one mighty city.

    Numerous of our Christian saints lived and passed through this ancient Byzantine city.

    Such important individuals include St Procopius of Scythopolis, Cyril of Scythopolis, St Epiphanius of Salamis and Joseph of Tiberias.

    In the park, you will be able to see the ancient wall that surrounded the city, public baths, Roman temples, the Roman theater, and many other well-preserved relics and structures.

    The Beit She’an National Park is a place you should definitely include in your visitation list.

  2. The Ancient Bathhouse in Nazareth

    This amazing immense Roman bathhouse is incredible and well preserved archeological site.

    The original Roman floor tiles which were excavated are still in place, along with original Terra Cota pipes, furnace, and even the ashes from the bath’s last usage 600 years ago.

    According to the local tradition, Christ and the holy virgin have been using the baths when they lived in Nazareth.

    This Bathhouse is along the best Archaeological Sites in Northern Israel for Christian tours and pilgrimages.

  3. Kfar Nahum (Capernaum) National Park

    The Capernaum National Park is an excavation of an ancient fishing village, established during the time of the Hasmoneans.

    It is located on the north-western shore of the Sea of Galilee and had a population of about 1,500.

    Archaeological excavations have revealed two ancient synagogues in the site, built one over the other.

    The earlier one dates to the time of Jesus and made of the black salt local stone and the upper one is the White Synagogue (4th-century synagogue).

    The lower one also served as the headquarters of Jesus’ ministry

    Also, the site of the national park was the focus of Jesus’s Early Galilean ministry.
    According to Mark 1:21–28 and Luke 4:31–37, Jesus went to Capernaum and the people were astonished at his teaching for his word was with authority, in the Exorcism at the Synagogue in Capernaum episode.
    The event of Jesus healing the mother of Peter’s wife also occurred at the place.
    Therefore, the Capernaum National Park is a must-see religious excavation and one of the best Archaeological Sites in Northern Israel.
  4. Megiddo National Park

    Tel Megiddo is an ancient city whose remains form a tel (archaeological mound).

    This Archaeological site is located in northern Israel about 18 miles south-east of Haifa.

    It has revealed more than 20 layers of ancient ruins dating in time from 7000-332BC.

    It sits on the most important crossroads in the history of mankind!

    In the excavation park, you will find ancient stables, exhibitions of ivory and Jewelry, and a 5,000 years old temple.

    Meggido was one of King Solomon’s three major cities along with Hazor in the Northern Territory, Megiddo in the middle and Gezer in the south.

    It was also one of his “Chariot Cities” which had provided him with Chariots for his army.

    This city has witnessed a lot of Biblical events such as the death of King Josiah, Naboth’s Vineyard, and other major stories.

    The walk on Tel Megiddo ends at the fascinating water tunnel that brought fresh drinking water to the city from outside the walls.

    Although not located on the tell of Megiddo, we also recommend you to visit the nearby church.

    You will find this incredible ancient church next to Megiddo Junction, inside the precinct of the Megiddo Prison.

    The church stands upon the ground of the ancient city of Legio.

    According to the belief, the Meggido church exists since the 3rd century which makes it one of the oldest churches in the world.

  5. Magdala

    We finish our list for the best archaeological sites in the north with a unique site, Magdala.

    The first Jewish town a pilgrim coming from the Valley of Doves would’ve encountered, it was a prosperous fishing town.

    According to the Christian belief, it was the hometown of Mary Magdalene.

    She was a Jewish woman who traveled with Jesus as one of his followers.

    She was also a witness to his crucifixion, burial, and resurrection.

    This unique site is located at the north-western shores of the Sea of Galilee.

    The archaeological site features a complete town from the first-century and times of Jesus.

    It is one of the most recent archaeological discoveries in the holy land with the best-preserved synagogue in the Northern region.

    The site also features a place for worship and prayer called  “Duc in Altum”.

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