Bet She’an / Scythopolis
Bet She’an is a city near the Jordan river with key strategic importance which may have existed since 2000 BC. It was conquered by Egypt in 1500 BC and became the center of administration in the region. It was a primarily Egyptian city until the invasion of the Sea People, at which time the entire city was destroyed by fire. A small Canaanite city was built on the same spot, and was taken over by the Philistines. This was used by them to attack Israel, and was actually the place where they hung Saul’s body after he was killed, as recorded in 1 Samuel 31. Afterwards the city was conquered by David and was part of Israel until it was destroyed by the Assyrians. It was reoccupied in the Hellenistic Era under the name Scythopolis and became part of the Decapolis. The city has been destroyed and rebuilt at various times, but it still survives today.