House of the Sun (Tel Beit Shemesh)

House of the Sun (Tel Beit Shemesh)

House of the Sun (Tel Beit Shemesh)
4.5
About
Located approximately 14 miles west of Jerusalem, this excavated site has unearthed remains of a walled city dating back more than 3,000 years ago.
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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles14 reviews
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5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020 • Family
When we read the article in the newspaper Haaretz dot com of 19 December 2019 titled “Bible-Era Temple Found Near Jerusalem May be Linked to Ark of the Covenant,” we knew that we couldn’t wait for the month of April to repeat our pre Passover holiday excursion (see and read my previous two reviews of tours attraction).

So we came and spent the 10-15 minutes to climb to the top. There, we attached ourselves to a group of American religious people who were already there- with a guide.

It wasn’t a long time until we were taken to the excavation of a room where the famous stone table is- and I stood alone in the room, staring at that stone table in awe and reverence and contemplation, considering that I was in a place next to where the Ark of the Covenant had been placed (read the story for yourself in the Book oh Samuel). Of course I did not touch it after such sanctity had been there, even though it was 3000+ years ago. I am attaching photos for you to see, though.

Hey- also consider that the path on which the Ark of the Covenant was brought to the town of House of the Sun is described in the Bible in Hebrew as a “track” (maslul), and today, there are train tracks on the same path, using that same Hebrew word.

Next, we were taking down a treacherous metal and then hewn slippery narrow dark and difficult stone (not quite wide enough for one person at as time) steps into a magnificent ancient water quarry (see my photos of that, including of looking up from the bottom to the top opening).

We were then taken to see a perfect excavation of a villa house, which sits directly on the edge of the highway a mere two meters away, and we were told that this one is from First Temple times too- that’s 3000+ years ago.

.... and all that was just of the old established excavations from decades ago.

Then the group went to the other side and into the city to see the ongoing active new excavation since last year, and of course we followed- it is still massive and there were at least 50 workers!! We saw crates of discarded ancient shards of pottery (see my photos).

We heard again about the ongoing conflict of preserving our past and the struggles to build a modern highway straight through the middle of these excavations.

The place remains totally undeveloped and totally unprepared to receive and educate the average tourist visitor.

Suffice it to say that these seem to me to be among the most important, significant massive and large and well preserved excavations in the entire State of Israel.

Written 18 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

TravelDonCA
Tehachapi, CA212 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2019
This small hill lies west of the current city of Bet Shemesh. From this location you can see in the distance where Samson lived and get a feel for the area Samson lived and roamed around in while he tormented the Philistines. Across the main road from the Tel is an ongoing archeological dig.
Written 25 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2019 • Family
We came back down here as a ore-Passover holiday excursion and learned now that the government wants to destroy and pave the amazing findings and someone told us that there are aerial photos and descriptions and exhibits of the findings from 3000 years ago that are displayed at the more modern city hall, so that’s where we went next- see my photos.
Written 21 April 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2018 • Solo
That’s right- these massive large and extensive and significant archaeological excavations are in tents! Very major work being done.

For decades, there was the previously excavated section, including a cave which yielded major historical finds from the First Temple period, when the site was famous for the story in the Book of Samuel of the return of the Ark of the Covenant from the barbaric idolatrous Philistines to the God worshipping Israelis. The oath taken then vise the Sorek Stream is the same path as the current train to Tel Aviv.

I visited here about 15 years ago with a then ten year old and we then at that time collected a full laundry pail of broken discarded pottery after the academic investigations. The 10 year complained “Oh no- not 2000 year old stuff again.” I corrected him- this stuff was 3000 years old.

So that little one now is near Bet Shemesh this weekend while in the army IDF, so I returned and found massive massive massive excavations on both sides of Route 38. It’s amazing to see revealed how marvelous and developed and large and extensive the ancient Biblical city was (not to be compared to today).

To walk through there on both sides of Route 38 is to trudge through deep layers of dirt and dust. Unfortunately, the new active clearings that are completely in tents to see are cordoned off and I couldn’t get inside there.

It’s too bad that modernity pushes forward- thus marvelous and largest area excavation site that I’ve seen in Israel is destined to be plowed under by the March if progress of modern Bet Shemesh... how many of the tens of thousands of new residents even know the history?

See my few photos.
Written 5 October 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

airport2015
Tel Aviv District, Israel976 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2017 • Family
Today Beth Shemesh is a growing town with good transportation in between Tel-Aviv and Jerusalem In biblical time a northen village House of Sun in the area of the tribe ofJudah The area was excavated and you may visit.In recent years some of the new quarters became ultra orthdox,In December 2017,a huge Byzanthine monastry and church with mosaic floors were found
Written 23 December 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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