A visit to Bisan / Beit Shean
Beit Shean or Beisan as it is called by Palestinians because before 1948 it was called Beisan and it had a population of 6000 people, is mainly known for the excavation of the ancient city and it is sometimes compared to Pompeii that was preserved so well because of the volcanic eruption, in this case the remains of Roman and Byzantine Beit Shean were preserved after a major earthquake. The ruins remained undisturbed and are now part of an archaeological park.
The history of Beit Shean goes back to the Canaanite period, about 4000 years ago!
It became an important Egyptian administrative center and it is mentioned in the Bible.
It grew into a really big Roman city with a lot of typical Roman features and it was the capital of the Decapolis. It flourished in Byzantine time. But then it was hit very hard by the major earthquake of 749 and since then the ruins have been left untouched.
Today it is a national park that requires an entrance fee. It is located on the north side of the modern city of Beit Shean, it is South of the Lake of Galilee and it is east (north east) of Jenin.
Connect to Stories from Palestine on social media, find out more about trips to Palestine, sign up for the e-mail list and support the podcast, all through this one link: