Excavation begins today at Tel Rehov

Tel Rehov is located in the Jordan Valley a few miles south of Beth-Shean. The excavation web site describes the tell as one of the largest in the Holy Land. Previous excavations since 1997 reveal that the site was occupied during the Late Bronze Age and Iron Age I. The site is not named in the Bible. The suggestion has been made that it may have remained one of the cities not conquered by the Israelites — like the ones mentioned here:

Yet the people of Manasseh could not take possession of those cities, but the Canaanites persisted in dwelling in that land. Now when the people of Israel grew strong, they put the Canaanites to forced labor, but did not utterly drive them out. (Joshua 17:12-13 ESV)

Rehov is mentioned in Egyptian writings from the time of Pharaoh Shishak, the ruler who invaded Israel during the reign of King Rehoboam about 925 B.C. (1 Kings 14:25).

Last month, while traveling in Israel, I saw that the tell had already been burned off. This is frequently done prior to a dig to help clear it of excess growth. There is always a lot of clean up work that goes on the first few days of a dig.

Tel Rehov. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Tel Rehov with the Jordan Valley in the distance. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

The most exciting discovery that has come from the excavation of Tel Rehov is “the industrial apiary — the only ancient beehives ever discovered in archaeological excavations.”

Tel Rehov. Beehives excavated in 2007.

Beehives Discovered at Tel Rehov in 2007. Archaeologist Amichai Mazar. Photo: Copyright - The Beth-Valley Archaeological Project, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Read more about the excavation, and hopefully keep up with the current dig, at the web site of the Beth-Shean Valley Archaeological Project here.

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