We are returning to Jezreel because it is an amazing site with a long history that reflects the rich cultural heritage of the area
Perched on the foothills of the Gilboa mountain range it commands an unparelled view over the valley below. The famous sentry site of Megiddo, Biblical Armageddon, lies 15 kms to the west and to the east the renowned city of Bet Shean (Scythopolis).
The fertile Jezreel and Harod valleys, with their copious springs, provided ideal conditions for both agriculture and grazing. It was these ideal conditions that ensured that Jezreel (greater Jezreel) was continously occupied from the earliest times until the present day.
Due to Jezreel's prominent place in the Biblical narrative it is the Iron Age city that has prompted the most intense investigation. The dominant Iron Age feature at Jezreel was a 289 by 157 rectangular, casemate walled, compound that enclosed an area of ca 45 dunam which was surrounded on at least three sides (or possibly four) by a rock-cut trench ca 8 to 12 meters wide and ca 6.5 meters deep.
The compound was attributed to the Omride dynasty ca 880 BCE, based primarily on the Biblical narrative. It was noted that few structural changes were made to the compound and the excavators surmised that the Jezreel compound must have fallen into disuse a relatively short time after its construction. Based on this scenario they attributed the demise of the compound to Jehu’s revolt in 842 BCE. This position was later modified by Nadav Na’aman and the end of the compound is now more commonly associated with Hazael and the Aramaeans in the latter part of the 9th c BCE.