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Megiddo (place)

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The site of ancient Megiddo
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The site of ancient Megiddo

Megiddo מגידו is a hill in Israel near the modern settlement of Megiddo, known for theological, historical and geographical reasons. In ancient times Meggido was an important city state. It is also known alternatively as Tel Megiddo (Hebrew) and Tell es-Mutesellim (Arabic).

Megiddo is a tel, a hill made of 26 layers of the ruins of ancient cities in a strategic location at the head of a pass through the Carmel Ridge, which overlooks the Valley of Jezreel from the south.

Megiddo was a site of great importance in the ancient world, as it guarded the western branch of Via Maris, an ancient trade route from Egypt to Mesopotamia. Because of its strategic location at the crossroads of several major routes, Megiddo and its environs have witnessed several major battles throughout history.

The site was inhabited from 7000 BC to 500 BC. Modern Megiddo is nearby. The neighboring Mount Megiddo (Har-megiddo in Hebrew), gave its name to the Armageddon of the Christian Bible.

Today, Megiddo is an important junction on the main road connecting the center of Israel with lower Galilee and the northern region.

Megiddo has been the site of three battles in recorded history:

A final military showdown at or near Megiddo is prophesied in the New Testament book of Revelation: Armageddon, an encounter between the forces of good and evil that has become a byword for the end of the world.

Megiddo has been excavated three times. The first excavations were carried out between 1903 and 1905 by Gottlieb Schumacher for the German Society for Oriental Research. In 1925, digging was resumed by Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago until the outbreak of the Second World War. During these excavation it was discovered that there were twenty levels of habitation. Yigael Yadin continued digging in the 1960s. Megiddo has most recently (since 1994) been the subject of biannual excavation campaigns conducted by a consortium of global universities, notably the University of Tel Aviv.

References in popular culture

Megiddo was also the name of a 1985 board game, loosely based on the historic battleground. The game was published by a small company called Global Games from Spokane, Washington. Originally sold in a tube (like the more popular game "Pente"), Megiddo revolved around two to six players who battled for ultimate control of the circular board (or "hill"). Placing jewel-like beads on the six radii of the playing board, players struggled to overcome their opponents by placing six beads of the same color in a row, circle, or spiral around the board. Global Games has since gone out of business. Finding copies of the game, particularly in its original tube, is hard to do. A boxed (and inferior in quality) version was also released.

External links

he:תל מגידו

Template:MEast-geo-stub

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