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Megiddo (Israel)


3rd Century AD Christian Mosaic, Megiddo, Israel

3rd Century AD Christian Mosaic, Megiddo, Israel

David Silverman / Getty Images

The archaeological site of Megiddo, known as Tell el-Mutesellim, has had more rubbish written about it in science fiction and horror movies and books than any other single archaeological site on the planet.

Mentioned in both the Old and New Testaments of the Judeo-Christian bible as 'Armageddon', the site was the location of the Bronze Age Battle of Megiddo, between the Egyptian pharaoh Tuthmosis III and the prince of Kadesh (or Qadesh). Most of the New Kingdom pharaohs were imperialists, and Tuthmosis III was no different, conquering Megiddo after a seven month siege in 1479 BC.

Megiddo Investigations

Megiddo has at least thirty urban settlements within its layers, the earliest about 3500 BC. Excavators at Megiddo include Gottleib Schumacher (1903-1905), Clarence Fisher, P.L.O. Guy and Gordon Loud (1925), and Yigael Yadin (1960s and 70s). Megiddo is currently under investigation by Tel Aviv University.

In 2005, the Israeli Antiquities Authority excavated at Megiddo, and discovered among other things a Roman outpost, a Jewish settlement, and a set of elaborate mosaics dated to the 3rd centuries AD, thought to represent an early Christian church.


This article is a part of the About.com Guide to Biblical Archaeology, and part of the Dictionary of Archaeology.

Halpern, Baruch 1998 Research design in archaeology: The interdisciplinary perspective. Near Eastern Archaeology 61(1):53-65.

van der Steen, Eveline J. 2005 The Sanctuaries of Early Bronze Age 1B Megiddo: Evidence of a Tribal Polity? American Journal of Archaeology 109(1):1-20.

Vernus, Pascal and Jean Yoyotte. 2003. Tuthmosis III. in The Book of the Pharaohs. tr by David Lorton. Cornell University Press, Ithaca.

Be sure to read more about the Battle of Mediggo by About.com's Ancient History guide, N.S. Gill.

Also Known As: Tell el-Mutesellim, Armageddon

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