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We’re at Tel Megiddo, the hill guarding the ancient trade route along the Jezreel Valley. Megiddo is usually identified in the Bible as Armageddon, the scene of St John’s apocalyptic vision of the battle between the forces of good and evil.

A ‘Tel’, tells the history of a civilisation (no pun intended). A well rounded hill in Israel often is a Tel. Tel Megiddo holds the history of 25 civilisations, commencing with the Canaanite period (the Bronze Age) to King Josiah’s reign in the 7th Century, when Egyptian Pharaoh Neco took over the region and killed Josiah at Megiddo. (2 Kings 23:29-30) General Edmund Allenby won the battle against the Ottoman Turks in 1918 and took the title “Lord Allenby of Megiddo.”

Each city is built on top of the other. It becomes a literal goldmine for archaeologists as they sift their way through the layers. One opinion holds that King Solomon built the biggest and the best at Megiddo with two palaces made of ashlar stone (dressed stone) walls. These are the places that blow me away – walking with the ancients.

The ancient cities of Israel and Europe are built on mountains to aid fortification. A spring is necessary to supply water for the city and this was the case at Megiddo. A tunnel chiselled from the city to the spring, underground, ensured security from poisoning by invading armies. Yours truly is descending the shaft when the moment of enlightenment took place.

Members of our group, now stand in awe of my presence.

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