Tel Hazor National Park
Archaeological Site

Tel Hazor, in Hebrew pronounced Hatzor are the ruins of the ancient capital of the Canaanite Galilee around the year 1750 BCE. It was an important fortified city and one of the most important ones in the area called the Fertile Crescent. It was a center of commerce between Babylon and Syria.

Aerial view of Hazor in the Upper Galilee

A Popular National Park

It is located in front of Kibbutz Ayelet Hashahar on the Upper Galilee between Rosh Pina and Metula, the northernmost city in Israel.

Today it is part of the National Parks System of Israel and is maintained for the pleasure of the citizens.

It was rediscovered during the 1950s by Yigal Yadin and it was the most important archaeological dig during the beginnings of the State of Israel. In 2005 it was designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site together with Tel Megiddo and Beer Sheba.

The ruins of Hazor were first rediscovered by Yigal Yadin

Hazor Archaeological Site

This archaeological site is divided into two tells or mounds; the first one the Acropolis covering 120 dunams or 30 acres and the lower town in an area of about 700 dunams. You may find fortifications of the early and late Bronze Ages, a wall of the times of King Solomon, a warehouse of King Ahab and many more discoveries of the time the Israelites settled in the area.

An impressive water system of the times of King Ahab can still be recognized.

They have also discovered the Solomonic Gate a six-chambered gate similar to those discovered in Megiddo and Gezer. It is another proof of the building activity of King Solomon during his reign.

Buildings like to ones found in Tel Hazor can be found in other digs in the country. Most of them were used to store food and housing the Royal Calvary.

The history of Hazor dates to the conquest by Joshua after entering the Promised Land and there are proofs of this in a Canaanite Palace found with signals of being burned down by the troops of Joshua.

The Lion Statue found in Hazor on display at the
Israel Museum Jerusalem

Getting there

Getting there is easy, just go on Road # 90 north of the Sea of Galilee and pay attention to the signs to Ayelet Hashahar and the Archaeological Site of Tel Hazor.

After touring this site, I recommend a visit to Kibbutz Ayelet Hashahar to the Hazor Antiquities Museum. Groups should arrange the visit in advance.

images

tel by qasinka
lion by hannay
aerial n/a

all courtesy of wikimdeia commons

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