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Megiddo(məgĭd`ō), city, ancient Palestine, by the Kishon River on the southern edge of the plain of Esdraelon, N of Samaria, located at present-day Tel Megiddo, SE of Haifa, Israel, near modern Megiddo. It was inhabited from the 7th millennium B.C. to c.450 B.C. Situated in a strategic position, controlling the route that connected Egypt with Mesopotamia, it has been the scene of many battles throughout history, from Thutmose III (c.1468 B.C.) to Gen. Edmund Allenby (later Viscount Allenby of Megiddo) in World War I. Excavations have unearthed 20 strata of settlements. Found in the latest 6 strata, from the Canaanite period to c.500 B.C., were the Megiddo Ivories, one of the most important examples of Canaanite art, and Solomon's chariot stables. The plain is sometimes called the valley of Megiddon. See also ArmageddonArmageddon
, in the New Testament, great battlefield where, at the end of the world, the powers of evil will fight the powers of good. If the usual etymology is correct, the name alludes to the frequency of battles at Megiddo.
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See Megiddo (Univ. of Chicago, Parts I–II, 1939–48); G. Loud, The Megiddo Ivories (1939).
(now called Tell al Mutesellim), an ancient city and fortress at the intersection of important ancient trade routes of Southwest Asia (the ruins are in the northern part of the modern state of Israel). It was excavated by the German archaeologist G. Schumacher from 1903 to 1905 and by a University of Chicago expedition (C. Fisher and others) between 1925 and 1939.
The origin of Megiddo dates to the middle of the fourth millennium B.C. The remains of a fortress wall, a temple, and other structures have been preserved from the third millennium B.C. Until the end of the second millennium B.C., Megiddo belonged to the Canaanites. At the beginning of the second millennium B.C., it was ruled by an Egyptian vicegerent. In 1502 B.C., it was plundered by Thutmose III. At the end of the second millennium B.C., it was conquered by the Israelites. After Megiddo was destroyed by Tiglath-pileser III in 732 B.C., an Assyrian fortress was built in its place. The remains of a city from Persian times (sixth to fourth centuries B.C.) were discovered in the uppermost layer of Megiddo.