It is not uncommon in the Palestinian territory for houses to be built along the slopes of a tell if not the top. See this next picture as an example of the encroachment.
Israel’s first king was a man of the tribe of Benjamin named Saul. The Bible records that he was from Gibeah (1 Samuel 10:26). More than once the text refers to the town as “Gibeah of Saul” (1 Samuel 11:4; Isaiah 10:29).
Gibeah was located about three miles north of Jerusalem on a main road leading north at an elevation of more than 2700 feet, about 300 feet higher than Jerusalem. It was a city of the tribe of Benjamin (1 Samuel 14:16) and is presently called Tal al-Ful (hill of beans) by the Arabs. William F. Albright excavated Gibeah during 1922 and 1933. From the time of King Saul, in the second half of the 11th century B.C., Albright found “a corner tower and part of the adjacent wall” (Albright, The Archaeology of Palestine, p. 120). The southwest tower of the fortress had three rooms and the indication was that the whole structure was at least two stories high. Some modern scholars have called this identification in question.
King Hussein of Jordan was in the process of building a palace on top of this impressive mound when Israel occupied the territory in June, 1967. The unfinished structure can still be seen.
And finally, here is another view made from Pisgat Ze’ev.
Wow! This is so informative. I actually think the houses make the area more picturesque but it’s only a personal opinion.
Thanks for sharing Ferrell!