30 miles west of Jerusalem. Next to the high-way between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv (which follows the ancient road

Bet shemesh

Joshua 21:6, 1 Samuel 6:12 and 2 Kings 14:11. Appears on the last of cities belonging to the tribe of Dan, but may never actually have been conquered (as Ir-Shemesh, Joshua 19:41). In Joshua 21:6 it is mentioned as belonging to the tribe of Judah. According to Biblical sources, Joshua conquered the town in 13th century. The captured Ark of the Covenant passed through Bet Shemesh after the Philistines beat the israelites and took the ark in the 11th and about 800 BC there was a battle here between King Amaziah of Judah and King Jehoash of Israel. Last biblical reference is when the Philistines captures it from Ahaz, King of Judah (II Chr 28:18).

Biblical Bet Shemesh is identified with Tel Al-Rumaylah, and Archaeological digs in the early 20th century has yielded evidence pointing settlement of the tell since the Bronze Age. The large underground water reservoir from 10-7th century BC is unique for Bet Shemesh. First city/strata end of 3rd millennium BC. Inscription in Ugaritic and an ostracon in Canaanite-Phoenican (1550-1200 BC, stratum IV). Material decline in the Iron Age (age of Judges); still lively industry and abundance of Philistine pottery. Destroyed by fire, second half of 11th century BC. Rebuilt in 10th; the large store house and granary confirms the important administrative role of the city as is described in the Bible. Settlement continued until First Temple Period (last city was unfortified). It seems there was some interruption of the continued settlement of the tell, which may be why it does not appear on the list of cities belonging to Judah in Joshua 15:33-36. Scholars disagree on why this may have happened; maybe it was the campaign of Pharaoh Shishak in circa 942 BCE, or the capture of the city by King Jehoash, King of Judah in the 8th century. In Roman times the settlement moved to nearby Ayn-Shams.

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