Settlements > Samaria

Samaria

Background

Samaria was the second capital city of the Kingdom of Israel.

The second capital of the ancient kingdom of Israel, Samaria perished first in fire and then beneath the muck and dirt of history. Constructed by Omri around 870BC, it perched atop a flat-topped hill in what are now the modern Palestinian Territories. The history of the city reads like a series of calamities unfolding with clockwork regularity. Within a century of being constructed, the city had been flattened and occupied by Assyrian invaders. A couple of hundred years later it was flattened once again: this time by a Jewish army. Under the Romans, Samaria was torn down, rebuilt and reconstructed all over again. In the midst of all this building and demolition, the original city disappeared from history – as completely as the original settlements of New York would vanish 1,500 years later. It wasn’t until 1910 that excavations dragged up the first traces of the once-proud Israelite capital.

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