The capital of the separated northern kingdom from the time of Omri (c. 870 BCE, 1 Kgs. 16: 24) until 722 BCE when the Assyrians captured it. The city was well fortified and some of its inhabitants were affluent (Amos 6: 4–6). The hill country round Samaria was occupied by the Joseph tribes at the time of the settlement, but after the Assyrian conquest by Shalmaneser V and Sargon II the local population was largely deported (2 Kgs. 17: 6) in exchange for foreign colonists probably in 720 BCE. This at any rate was the Jewish explanation of the beginning of antipathy between Judah and Samaria, exacerbated by the rebuilding of Jerusalem after the Exile (Ezra 4: 8–24). For the post-exilic antagonism of the Jews could have influenced the hostile account of the origin of the Samaritans. External evidence does exist of a movement of population between the two regions as asserted in 2 Kings 17: 24; but archaeological examination of pottery reveals that the imported settlers amounted to only a few thousand who replaced no more than 10 per cent of the Israelite population. During the Hellenistic period (325–63 BCE) there was further disruption and the Samaritans rebuilt the city of Shechem and a temple to Yahweh on Mount Gerizim. In the Maccabean period the territory was taken by Judaea. The Romans gave the territory to Herod the Great in 30 BCE, from whom it passed to Archelaus (4 BCE–6 CE). Samaria as a district is mentioned in the NT (e.g. Matt. 10: 5; Acts 8: 4–25).