Secret First-Temple Jewish city discovered under IDF training base

By JNI Media

A few weeks ago, the staff of the Archeology Department of the IDF Civil Administration arrived at the area of a now abandoned training base, next door to the town of Beit El in Samaria, and, digging under the old parade grounds, they were astonished to discover a hidden Jewish city, Yedioth Aharonot reported Thursday.

The dig revealed a Jewish settlement of several dozen residents, dating back to the First Temple period. It was later inhabited during the Persian period and expanded in the Hellenistic and Hasmonean periods, remaining in Jewish hands until the Roman era

According to the finds, the site remained abandoned for years and resettled in the Byzantine period, by a Christian population, most likely monks who also built a monastery there. The excavations revealed a church, a dining room that was used by the monks, and a bathhouse that has been very well-preserved.

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