Tel Hazor

Tel Hazor

As the largest tel in the Middle East, Tel Hazor served as the administrative center and capital of the Canaanite Empire for nearly two thousand years. According to Joshua 11, the Israelites under the leadership of Joshua battle head-to-head with the Canaanites in the Hulah valley and then utterly destroy the city with fire, evidence of which has been discovered and is on display at the site. The place name Hazor is mentioned by name some 19 times in the Hebrew Bible, with a few of these instances referring to other locales (See Biblical References).


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The Tel

Tel Hazor is the largest archaeological mound in the middle east. In the Canaanite period, it served as the capital of all the Canaanite cities (Joshua 11:10). At the height of its reign, Hazor was estimated to be around 800 dunams (almost 200 acres) in size and had around 15,000…



The Lower City

Throughout the Middle Bronze Age and Late Bronze Age periods, most of the inhabitants lived in the valley next to the mound. During these periods, the lower city was surrounded by an earthen rampart. Yigael Yadin excavated many cultic installations in this area, and even discovered the famous…



The Passageway

Sometime in the Canaanite period, a basalt staircase was built to connect the lower city with the upper city. New installations were added in the Late Canaanite period, including a cultic high place (bamah) and standing stones (matseboth). Four holes were drilled into one of the slabs of stone in…



The Gateway of Solomon

Yigael Yadin discovered a six-chambered gateway on the upper tel of Hazor, near the Late Bronze Age palace. He dated the gateway and the casemate wall (to which it is connected) to the period of Solomon in the 10th century BCE. Similar defense systems have been found at Tel Megiddo and Tel…



The Temple Beneath the Solominic Gate

In the second chamber of the southern wing of the Gateway of Solomon, archaeologists discovered a Late Bronze Age temple and cultic…



The Canaanite Palace

The Late Bronze Age palace was destroyed in 1225 BCE. Both Yigael Yadin and Amnon Ben Tor, archaeologists from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem have confirmed through excavation that the palace on the upper city, as well as the entire Late Bronze Age city was destroyed by fire. For most biblical…



The Canaanite Palace Destruction

There were three key elements that created one of the greatest fires in archaeological history: wood, oil and wind. Amnon Ben-Tor has referred to the destruction of Late Bronze Age Hazor as "the mother of all destructions." The palace which was full of cedar wood, large storage vessels in the…



The Canaanite Palace High Place

In the courtyard facing the Canaanite Palace, a large cultic high place (bamah) was excavated. In the 1997 excavation season, two wedding rings (perhaps cultic offerings) and a bronze snake were found at the base of the high…



The Canaanite Palace Cedar Beams

The Late Bronze Age palace of Tel Hazor was full of cedar, one of the key factors for the magnificent blaze as recorded in Joshua 11. At the entrance to the palace, two massive cedar columns were placed on large basalt bases and supported the roof of the two-story…



The Four-Room House

The four-room Israelite house dates to the 9th-8th centuries BCE. Archaeologists have defined this style of architecture as an early Israelite thumbprint. One should note that the house initially was located above the Canaanite palace in Area A. The house was moved from that location to the…



The Four-Room House Olive Press

The four-room house at Hazor has a second-stage olive press. Stone weights lowered the beam down on the already crushed olive pits and fruit placed in baskets, and the oil oozed down a spout and into a basin on the…



The Pillared House

The Pillared House dates to the 9th-8th century BCE. Like the Four-Room House, this public building was initially discovered in the area above what is now known as the Canaanite Palace. Though similar to stables from the same period, the two rows of columns served as bases for the rooftop that…



The Water System

The water shaft was constructed in the 9th century BCE, around the time of King Ahab. Before this time, the city inhabitants had to go outside the walls of the city to the Hazor Ravine in order to collect water from the springs, making the city’s water source and those who collected it…



The Israelite Tower

According to II Kings 15:29, "In the time of Pekah king of Israel, Tiglath-Pileser king of Assyria came and took Ijon, Abel Beth Maakah, Janoah, Kedesh and Hazor. He took Gilead and Galilee, including all the land of Naphtali, and deported the people to Assyria." According to archaeologists, the…


Wind in the Afternoon

In this video, Eitan Chamberlin takes us to Tel Hazor. In Joshua 11, the Bible says that Joshua and Israelites burned Hazor with fire. The heavy winds that occur here daily are one of the factors attributed to the continual burning of the Canaanite Palace that we find in the archaeological remains…