Biblical Tels - Megiddo,
Hazor, Beer Sheba (2005)
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|Tels, or pre-historic settlement mounds, are characteristic of the flatter
lands of the eastern Mediterranean, particularly Lebanon, Syria, Israel and
Eastern Turkey. Of more than 200 tels in Israel, Megiddo, Hazor and Beer Sheba
are representative of tels that contain substantial remains of cities with
The three tels also present some of the best examples in the Levant of elaborate Iron Age, underground water collecting systems, created to serve dense urban communities. Their traces of construction over the millennia reflect the existence of centralized authority, prosperous agricultural activity and the control of important trade routes.
UNESCO states in its justification for inscription that the three tels represent an interchange of human values throughout the ancient near-east, forged through extensive trade routes and alliances with other states and manifest in building styles which merged Egyptian, Syrian and Aegean influences to create a distinctive local style.
|The three tels are a testimony to a civilisation
that has disappeared –that of the Cananean cities of the Bronze Age and the
biblical cities of the Iron Age-, manifest in their expressions of creativity:
town planning, fortifications, palaces, and water collection technologies.
The biblical cities exerted a powerful influence on later history through the biblical narrative. The three tels, through their mentions in the Bible, constitute a religious and spiritual testimony of outstanding universal value.
Israel has issued no stamps depicting the Biblical Tel in Beer Sheba, so instead I have chosen to show this souvenir sheet, with the stamp depicting the settlement as such, and the sheet giving various views of the area.
Other World Heritage Sites in Israel (on this site). Inactive links are not described on postage stamps. Please refer to the UNESCO-listing, section Israel for further information about the individual properties.
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Revised 21 jul 2006