Where did Megiddo go?

Megiddo entered biblical history in the Book of Joshua. It, being a strategic fortress at the mouth of the Aruna (‘Ara) pass, the easiest way around the Carmel ridge, was the site of the first well-recorded battle ever, in 1458 BC. Taanach (modern Ti’anik, W. Bank) was said to have been by its waters in Judges 5:19. It was one of the cities built by Solomon in the 930s BC (1 Kings 9:15). Ahaziah of Judah died there in 841 BC. Josiah died there in a confrontation with Pharaoh Necho. It was destroyed and abandoned forever in 587/6 BC.

So, what happened to it?

It was replaced by the Hasmonean or earlier Jewish village of
Khefar Otnai, or Caparcotnei, at the site of the modern high-security prison of Megiddo, which was considered to be at the edge of Galilee. Sometime before 120 AD, Hadrian settled the 6th Roman Legion to guard the entrance to the Aruna pass at what would be named Legio, at 32°34’40″N, 35°11’15″E. Under Constantine the Great, a new city, Maximianopolis, said to be above the Hadad Rimmon of Zechariah 12:11 (interpreted to be where Josiah died), which was in fact, not a place-name, but a Canaanite god. was built on the southern hill of modern Kibbutz Megido. In time, the Arabs destroyed the city and settled a new village, al-Lejjun, keeping the old name Legio, which lasted until 1948, when the the Arab inhabitants left to make way for the modern Kibbutz Megido.

Author: pithom

An atheist with an interest in the history of the ancient Near East. Author of the Against Jebel al-Lawz Wordpress blog.

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