Upper Galilee and the Golan Sights

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Tel Hatzor Review

This site is a good stop for archaeology buffs—its massive mound is made up of the remnants of 21 cities. The excavation and restoration of some of these antiquities have produced fascinating results.

On the Via Maris—the major trade route linking Egypt and Mesopotamia—Hatzor is referred to several times in documents from ancient archives in both lands, and scholars believe a huge archive may someday be found here.

The book of Joshua (11:13) notes that Joshua destroyed Canaanite Hatzor in the 13th century BC, and Israelites resettled it. Its next heyday came three centuries later, when King Solomon decided it would serve him well as a regional military and administrative center, like Megiddo and Gezer. In 732 BC, Hatzor met its end when invading Assyrian king Tiglath Pileser III conquered the Galilee and forced its Israelite inhabitants off the land in chains and into exile.

The huge site is divided into two areas: the Upper City, which comprised the most ancient settlements, and the Lower City, first settled in the 18th century BC. Only the Upper City, covering less than a fifth of the total excavation site, is open to the public. The Hatzor Museum (on the grounds of Kibbutz Ayelet Hashachar, across the highway) houses figurines, weapons, stone pots, and other artifacts unearthed in the two areas; others are at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. It's open by appointment.

    Contact Information

  • Address: Tel Hatzor National Park, Rte. 90, Tzfat, 1200000
  • Phone: 04/693–7290
  • Cost: NIS 18
  • Hours: Apr.–Sept., Sat.–Thurs. 8–5, Fri. 8–4; Oct.–Mar., Sat.–Thurs. 8–4, Fri. 8–3
  • Location: Tel Hatzor
Updated: 05-16-2013

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