Ahab’s Yizrael – תל יזרעאל
Yizrael (Jezreel) was a major Biblical city, and at the 9th C BC it was the northern capital of the Israel Kingdom. The Bible tells about many events associated with the city: the King’s palace in the city; the battle of the Gilboa when King Saul was killed; the Naboth vineyard and the plot of Jezebel to posses it; the fate of Jezebel and her son.
Excavations in the 90s found some of the Israelite structures, as well as other periods, but they were not yet fully published.
According to the excavations, the city was inhabited in the Canaanite/Late Bronze period (starting from the 15th C BC) and Israelite/Iron period. The city belonged to the region of the tribe of Issachar. Its important location on the entrance to the north-south trade route – made the city a gate-keeper, just like Megiddo and Yokneam which are located west to here on the other routes to the south.
The Tell is located east to the modern Kibbutz by the same name – Yizreel – on the road from the Yizreel valley to the west (Ta’anach/Megiddo/Afula). A parking lot is located on the south side of the Tell, and can be accessed from a service road that starts at the entrance to the Kibbutz. On the south-east side of the Tell are picnic tables and walking trails. One of the trails leads down to the Yizrael spring, which is also reachable by car from a road closer to the junction of Afula / Beth-Shean.
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The Tell is roughly a rectangle 170M (north-south) x 350M (east-west).
This is a fresh water spring that emerges from the banks of Tel Yizrael, and flows through a beautiful open stone tunnel into a clean blue pool in the huge eucalyptus grove.