Beth Shean, Then and Now
Many students have commented to me at the end of a semester that the most impressive site in Israel is Beth Shean. They are referring to the prominent Roman and Byzantine remains of the lower city that have been excavated and reconstructed in the last 20 years.
If you had visited before that time, the tell was striking, but there was little evidence that a glorious city was buried in the dirt. I’ve heard, but not seen in a photograph, that there was a lone column sticking out of the ground prior to excavations.
The natives visible in the photo below certainly don’t have any idea of what lies beneath their feet. Then again, that’s probably true for hundreds of cities around the world today.
Beth Shean from the south. Date of photograph: 1920-1933
Beth Shean from the south