The Beit She'an National Park

Explore ancient Roman life in the North

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April 13, 2017 16:18
The Beit She’an National Park

The Beit She’an National Park. (photo credit: WIKIMEDIA)

 
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 Those ancient Romans thought of everything. When they took over a region, they sized up the geography and set their formidable resources to work creating urban centers. Engineers planned the layout, laid down roads and set water flowing on top of aqueducts to supply the population’s needs. Architects designed offices, temples, shops, public baths and markets. Manpower was no problem: there were plenty of slaves to hew out stone for construction.

The Romans didn’t neglect entertainment, either. A city such as Scythopolis, standing at an important crossroads for government and trade in northern Judea, provided its residents with a hippodrome for horse and chariot races, later converted to grounds for animal and gladiator games, and an amphitheater for artistic performances that seated 7,000 spectators. Today, the site is the Beit She’an National Park, where intermittent excavations have been in progress since 1921 and will continue, under Israeli authority, with no foreseeable end in sight.

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