Studium Theologicum Salesianum
Salesian Pontifical University : Faculty of Theology - Jerusalem Campus

 Beit Shean, Korazim, and Megiddo


18 September 2017  -  STS - Jerusalem
Amit Xess, SDB


The first archaeological excursion of the year was indeed an enriching and awe-inspiring exploration of some cities of Israel. The STS students, together with some teaching Staff, were guided by Fr. Piotr Zelazko for the visit to Beit Shean, Korazim, and Megiddo. Witnessing the beautiful panoramic view of the city of Jerusalem on our outward journey, set the tone for the entire day.

Each site has its own specialties and importance of various formats. The first site we visited, the National Park at Beit Shean, is an ancient city which is located above the Dead Sea. Historically, the city was destroyed in the Golan earthquake of 749. Beit Shean is a city in the Northern District of Israel which played an important historical role due to its geographical location, at the junction of the Jordan River valley and the Jezrel valley. We witnessed one of the best Theatres that were built during the Roman era which still stands as a speaking icon of the past in all its magnificence. The other areas of interest were the Roman bath house, the Tell, & Herod’s Valley which could be viewed from the top of Tell.

We next proceeded towards Korazim. On the way, we caught sight of Galilean Sea, the city of Tiberias and the church of Beatitudes. Korazim is a National Park in the Galilee. It contains the ruins of an ancient Byzantine town and was known during Talmudic times for its wheat, and later on, as one of the cities condemned by Jesus together with Beth-Saida and Capernaum as mentioned in the New Testament (cf. Matthew 11:21, Luke 10:13). Other structural relics included the ritual bath, dwelling house with paved courtyard, the synagogue outer court, an ancient synagogue and an oil press. At this point it was time to do justice to our stomachs and partake in our lunch in this very historical place.

The final beautiful site waiting to welcome us was the Tel Megiddo (Armageddon) National Park. Megiddo lies to the west of Road 66, some 2 km north of Megiddo junction. Megiddo was one of the strongest and most important cities of Canaan. The remains of the palaces, temples, gates, and the sophisticated water system of the city are evidence of its great power. Here, we had the chance to watch a film of the history of the site and see the remains of the city.

The visit of these different archaeological sites really triggered our interest to know more about the age long history of Israel and become connected with those ancient times helping us to analyse and examine the life style as it was in days gone by.




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