The excavation of this ancient city is located in the Jordan Valley about 18 miles south of the Sea of Galilee.
The valley of Bet She’an was the portion of the tribe of Issachar, but the tribe of Manasseh extended its settlements to this territory. During King Saul’s reign the city was in the hands of the Philistines, but in the time of Solomon it was again under Jewish rule.
The Bible mentions Beit She’an (Beth Shan) as one of the Canaanite cities which was not conquered by the Israelites under Joshua (Joshua 17:11,16–17; Judges 1:27–28). The city is again mentioned after the defeat of the army of King Saul’s army by the Philistines on Mount Gilboa (south of the city) (I Samuel 31:1–13).
The partially-restored ruins of an impressive Roman theater, built in A.D. 200, can be found at Bet She’an (shown here in the upper-right) along with an excavated synagogue dating from the fourth century.
The city was destroyed by a massive earthquake in 749.