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The Recent Finds at Beisan

  • Alan Rowe (a1)

Ever since the year 1921 the Palestine Expedition of the Museum of the University of Pennsylvania has been engaged in the excavation of the ancient city of Beth-Shan, at present called Beisan, which lies in North Palestine at the eastern end of the Valley of Jezreel. The site consists of an enonnous mound, named Tell el-Hosn, or ‘Mound of the Fortress’, and an extensive cemetery—one of the largest in Palestine, which has been proved to contain burials of all periods, from the early Bronze Age to the Byzantine era. In the tell itself have so far been found the remains of nine superimposed citadels or city-levels :—I, Arabic (mosque), Crusader, etc., 636 A.D.-19th century A.D.; II, Byzantine (circular church), 330 A.D.-636 A.D. ; III, Hellenistic (temple), Jewish and Roman, 301 B.C.-329 A.D.; IV, Late Ramesside, Philistine, Israelite, Assyrian, Scythian, New Babylonian, Old Persian, etc., 1224 B.C.-302 B.C.; V, Rameses 11 (two Canaanite temples,-northern one, ' House of Ashtaroth ' of I Samuel, xxxi, 10, and southern one ‘Temple of Dagon’ of I Chronicles, x, 10), 1292 B.c.-1225 B.C.; VI, Seti I,—two levels, late Seti, early Seti (Canaanite temple), 1313 B.C.-1292 B.C. ; VII, Amenophis III, etc. (Canaanite Temple), 141 I B.c.-13 14 B.C. ; VIII, pre-Amenophis III, 1446 B.c.-1412 B.C.; and IX, Thothmes III (two Canaanite temples,-southern one for ‘Mekal, the god of Beth-Shan’, and northern one for his female counterpart), 1501 B.C.-1447 B.C. It will thus be seen that there have been discovered altogether nine sacred buildings on the tell, that is to say, an Arabic mosque, a Byzantine circular church, a Hellenistic temple, and six Canaanite temples. All the Canaanite temples have been unearthed since the year 1925, the two temples of Thothmes III being excavated in the 1927 season.

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  • ISSN: 0003-598X
  • EISSN: 1745-1744
  • URL: /core/journals/antiquity
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