Situated southeast of Mount Carmel at the western approach to the Jezreel Valley (Map 1:X3), Megiddo assumed geopolitical significance throughout its long occupation (early fourth millennium to early fourth century BCE). The 5.25‐hectare (13‐acre) site thrived at the juncture of major international trade routes connecting the northeast (Hazor, Damascus), the northern Israelite and Phoenician coasts (Acco, Tyre, Sidon), and the south‐central coast of Israel (Sharon Plain, Philistia, Egypt). Several archaeological expeditions have revealed significant remains from every period, including: Early‐Middle Bronze Age Canaanite temple complexes with a circular altar; a Late Bronze Age treasury containing beautifully carved ivories; and multiphased gate structures, palaces, stables (or storerooms), a sophisticated water system, and grain storage facilities from the Israelite period. Besides archaeological data, Egyptian, Assyrian, and biblical records illuminate Megiddo's history. The latter mention the Israelites' inability to control this region during the settlement period (compare Josh. 12.21 with Judg. 1.27–28); Solomon's royal building activities here during the United Monarchy (1 Kings 9.15–19); and Josiah's ill‐fated attempt to intercept at Megiddo Egyptian military aid for Assyria against Babylon (2 Kings 23.28–30). Later eschatological references mention the valley around Armageddon (Hill of Megiddo) as the site of the final battle between the forces of good and evil (Rev. 16.12–16).

Ron Tappy