House of the Sun (Tel Beit Shemesh)

House of the Sun (Tel Beit Shemesh), Jerusalem

House of the Sun (Tel Beit Shemesh)

House of the Sun (Tel Beit Shemesh)
Historic Sites • Ancient Ruins
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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15 reviews
Very good

First Temple Biblical historical site
Nov 2020 • Family
We stopped here when returning to Jerusalem after our two hikes earlier in the day (Tel Socho and Tel Azeka).

It’s an important historical place and there have been impressive extensive extractions in the past few years.

But unfortunately, it is still quite neglected and under developed and not prepared for any tourists- and there weren’t any anyway.

We climbed the steep ascent to the top of the hill- much overgrown brush and wild grass and bushes and dirt and some litter. Nothing at all is marked not identified: even the name of the place is not displayed anyway anywhere. I don’t want to say what it looks like.

We only knew that it was a major historical archaeological excavation site because I know that: no markers, no arrows, no explanations- no nothing!

Since I remembered from my previous three visits posted here on TripAdvisor (18 March 2020, 21 April 2019 snd 5 October 2018), I took the boys to see the rock table on which the Ark of the Covenant rested and into the large water cistern (read my previous reviews and see my photos). I tried to take them to the totally preserved 3000 year old rich person’s villa dwelling (I know exactly where it is), but alas- the paths are near non existent with overgrown weeds and bushes. And it would have been treacherous and dangerous to try to get there: sad- what a waste.

We also crossed that road to the more recent excavations and found a break in the guard fence and accessed and explored that area- much more developed than the other side, but still no nothing to describe what we are seeing.

So this has great tourist potential... but don’t bother coming here yet- you’ll be surely disappointed.
Written November 10, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Ark of Covenant was here!!
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 March 18, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

California214 contributions
Interesting Site - You can view where Samson lived
Sep 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 February 25, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

“Save Tel Bet Shemesh”
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 April 21, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

These massive archaeological excavations are in tents!!
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 October 5, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Tel Aviv District, Israel997 contributions
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 December 23, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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