The Newsletter of the Megiddo Expedition

Virtual Reality
Temple Complex
In Memoriam
Thutmose III
Faunal Remains
Charms Capture
The 1998 Excavation
In the Footsteps... OI
The Gossip Corner
Allenby Returns to Megiddo

Unlike many archaeological sites, which are so obscure that only archaeologists who are a few sandwiches short of a picnic would dream of spending a summer investigating them, Megiddo has attracted its share of visitors. Due to its place in history and Christian prophecy, for example, Pope Paul VI, during his historic visit to Israel in 1964, met here with Israel’s then-President Zalman Shazar. During the 1996 excavation season, 

Viscount Michael Allenby of Felixstowe and Megiddo, the grand-nephew of renowned British Field Marshal Edmund Allenby, spent a few days with the Expedition team on the tel. Viscount Michael Allenby of Megiddo and Felixstowe (above) discusses his family’s long relationship to Tel Megiddo.
The Allenbys’ interest in Megiddo began in World War I when Edmund Allenby, leading an Australian cavalry division and the Tenth Indian infantry, dislodged from the advantageous heights of the tel a group of about 100 Turkish fighters who were defending the last vestiges of the Ottoman Empire. Admittedly, the battle for the tel of Megiddo itself wasn’t much of a fight, as Allenby, using tactics similar to those of Thutmose III (See Yuval Gadot’s article about the Aruna Pass survey in the next issue of Revelations), caught the defenders unaware and entered the Jezreel almost unhindered. The larger battle for the valley, however, was a hard-fought, stratigically significant victory. 

The historical significance of the site prompted Allenby to include the name of the tel in his family’s hereditary title, along with that of the family home at Felixstowe, England. In his own words, ‘I don’t think I can do better than Allenby of Megiddo - Megiddo was the crucial point of last year’s campaign; and is the base of the name Armageddon . . .’ 
Michael Allenby, who today serves in the British House of Lords as Deputy Speaker, has also done his tour of duty in the British forces, serving in the armored cavalry in such diverse corners of the former Empire as Malaya, Cyprus, Nigeria and Hong Kong. He is also President of the Anglo-Israel Archaeological Society and has been an invaluable friend of the Megiddo Expedition. 

During his visit to the tel with his wife, Sara, as special guest of Tel Aviv University, Allenby saw the newest revelations from Megiddo as described by Israel Finkelstein and David Ussishkin, the dig’s directors. The Allenbys then attended a gathering for the friends and staff of the Expedition, highlighted by greetings from Sir Leslie Porter, Chancellor of Tel Aviv University. The Allenbys stayed with the staff for three days at Kibbutz Megiddo, even taking the opportunity to take trowel and brush in hand and participate in the physical excavation of Megiddo.

                          Jared L. Miller


Viscount Michael Allenby of Megiddo and Felixstowe discusses his family's long relationship to Tel Megiddo.