About this place

Tel Balata is an archaeological site on the outskirts of Nablus, in the Palestinian West Bank (Samaria). The site covers a tell or mound about 4.5km from the village of Salim which has been identified as the Biblical village of Salem. Tel Balata has been designated as a UNESCO site for its 5,000-year-old remains including ruins of towers and buildings. The archaeological site is identified with the Biblical city of Shechem based on its location and age, dating back to the late Bronze and early Iron Ages.

However other sites have also been proposed as possible locations for Shechem. One of the most famous finds from Tel Balata was a 2,500-year-old electrum Greek Macedonian coin. Further archaeological findings show that the site was inhabited during the Hellenistic Period and up until the 2nd-century BC. In 72AD, Balata was abandoned and the Romans established a new town further west called Flavia Neapolis, which became Nablus in 636 AD. Today the site is open to visitors as an archaeological park created to preserve this important cultural heritage location.