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A national park with an antiquities museum and archaeological sites, Tel Hazor is a mound located on the site of ancient Hazor. The archaeological remains are considered the largest and richest in modern Israel. Hazor (or Hatzor) was a Canaanite city mentioned in the book of Joshua. Located in the Upper Galilee overlooking Lake Merom, Hazor was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Tel Hazor in the Bible
According to the Bible, Hazor was the seat Canaanite King Jabin. Joshua defeated the city and burnt it to the ground. Barak and Deborah defeated Sisera, commander of the Canaanite army, according to the book of Judges.
The town was rebuilt, fortified and expanded by Solomon. During the Early Iron Age the town gained a six-chambered gate similar to ones in Megiddo and Gezer possibly constructed by King Solomon in the 10th century. When Jehu was king of Israel, Hazor fell into the control of Aram of Damascus.
The city was occupied by Aramaeans until the Assyrians temporarily seized control. The city possibly returned to Israelite control briefly until 732 BC when Hazor was captured by the Assyrians, its population deported and the city burnt to the ground.
Modern Tel Hazor in the Holy Land
The Tel of Hazor today is the largest biblical-era archaeological site in Israel at 200 acres. Tel Hazor National Park is located opposite Kibbutz Ayelet HaShahar, between Rosh Pina and Metula. On the archaeological mound is an acropolis, fortifications from the Middle Bronze Age, a wall attributed to King Solomon, a cultic site from the settlement of the Israelite tribes and a storehouse and water system from the time of King Ahab’s reign.
The site has been under excavation since the 1950s and findings there are considered to be an invaluable source of architectural and artifactual information relating to the Bronze Age. The ancient city was first undiscovered in the modern era in 1928.
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