Bet She’an

Located at the intersection of the Jordan and Jezreel valleys and surrounded by farms and fishponds, this town has one singular site: Bet She’an National Park.

The area extends over 400 acres and was first excavated in the 1920s. Settlement of Bet She’an first began in the 5th millennium BC and later came under Egyptian rule. After multiple changes of ownership, a massive earthquake hit the city in 749 AD which devastated the city.

Scythopolis, as the city came to be known, had collonaded main streets converging on a plaza that contained a temple, fountain and monuments. Elaborate Byzantine bathhouses extended over 1.25 acres and there are still remains of an amphitheater today. The mountain (or high tell) on the site to the north was the location of Canaanite in the Old Testament over 2,500 years ago. There are some very interesting sites here including Roman bath houses which were used as the first places to spread the word of Christianity, and early public toilets.


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