The ancient ruin of Megiddo is the home of approximately 26 levels of ruins dating back to the Chalcolithic period. It is known for its historical, geographical, and theological importance especially under its Greek name Armageddon. Megiddo was a site of great importance in the ancient world. It guarded the western branch of a narrow pass and trade route connecting Egypt and Assyria. Because of its strategic location, Megiddo was the site of several historical battles. The site was inhabited from approximately 7000 BC to 586. Since this time it has remained uninhabited, preserving ruins pre-dating 586 BC without newer settlements disturbing them.
In an effort to secure access to its water supply, Megiddo utilized different water systems over its history. In the 9th c. B.C., a massive system was constructed with a 30 meter deep shaft and a 70 meter long tunnel. The tunnel connected the bottom of the shaft to a spring which saved residents from having to leave the city walls in order to get water. This continued in use until the end of the Iron Age. The tunnel was dug from both ends at the same time and the builders were only one foot off when meeting in the middle.
Another notable feature of the site is a solid circular stone structure that is reckoned to be an altar. It dates back to the Canaanite period.
Megiddo was a powerful and moving experience for me. Situated on top of a hill surrounded by the Jezreel Valley, its ancient past begs for redemption. The day was dark and stormy although there was no actual rain. The feel of stormy was in the air, but without the storm if you know what I mean. In contrast to the sky was the lush and fertile valley. It seemed to joyously shout out the color green! The wind bent the date trees and played earnestly with my hair and I felt truly and vitally alive. All throughout this place of sorrow and loss, the atmosphere screamed “life”. It was a clear example of the triumph of life over death. Yet the grief of days gone by was clearly vibrating throughout the air as well. It was as though the past was begging with the present not to repeat the same mistakes.
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