Megiddo lies 30 km southeast from Haifa at the eastern entrance to the Carmel Mountains. From the elevated position of Megiddo you can see Jezreel Valley, Mt. Gilboa and Kibbutz Megiddo. Ancient Megiddo overlooked the Via Maris trade route where caravans and armies traveled. Civilizations came and went from Megiddo each leaving traces of their cities. Excavations have unearthed 26 layers of civilizations from different periods including a Bronze Age Canaanite city-state and an Iron Age Israelite Kingdom.
Megiddo in the Bible
Megiddo is mentioned eighteen times in the Bible including in Joshua; Kings I and Kings II. Megiddo is described as the city of Solomon where he had four thousand horses and as an Assyrian capital. Megiddo is the Biblical site of Armageddon, the site of the final battle as described in the Book of Revelation.
Megiddo Archaeological Park
Today an archaeological park encompasses Tel Megiddo. There are the remains of several gates – from the 15th century BC; 9th century BC (during King Solomon’s reign) and from the 18th century BC. Solomon’s Gate had a roof and three chambers on each side. The remains of a Canaanite Palace include 2m-thick walls and an open courtyard. There are stable complexes from the 9th century BC (Israelite Kingdom) where you can see parts of the stable walls and troughs. In the past there would have been 5 stables in the city with many chariots and horses. The remains of 17 temples have been discovered from different periods. There are also burial chambers; city walls; the Southern Palace; a four-room house and a silo.
Megiddo Water System
On the west side of the mound is a water supply and storage system dating back to the 10th century BC. It consists of 183 stairs leading down 36 m to a large pit and a 70 m long tunnel that connects with an underground spring. The water system remained unseen by enemies and the residents of Megiddo could survive under siege with an abundant supply of water. Today visitors can descend the staircase all the way down the vertical shaft and along the subterranean tunnel to the spring.