is an archetypal historical site whose cast of characters includes
Canaanites, Israelites, Philistines,
Assyrians, and Persians in the biblical period, Ottoman Turks and
Englishmen in the modern era. For many today, Megiddo conjures up
Christian apocalyptic images of Armageddon.
was inhabited continuously for six millennia (ca. 7000-500 BCE). The
site's importance in the past was undoubtedly due to its role as a
way-station and control point for international trade.
Its strategic location on the Via Maris -- the major international
military and trade route of antiquity linking Egypt in the south with
Syria, Anatolia, and Mesopotamia in the north and east -- gave Megiddo
control of a bottleneck along this road where it emerges from the
narrow 'Aruna pass into the fertile Jezreel Valley
Please select the Jezreel Valley Map image
to view its full size.