Other Archaeological Sites / The Neolithic of the Levant (500 Page Book Online)
Ancient Beth Shemesh (Ain Shems)
A frontier city on the western border of Judah -- Beth Shemesh was an arena of battle between the Philistines and the Judahites; it was also where the Philistines returned the Ark of the Covenant to the Israelites. The city later served as an important administrative center for Solomon. It was destroyed by the Assyrians in 701 BC.
Beth Shemesh is located in the lowlands 15 miles southwest of Jerusalem and has yielded finds dating to the early Israelite monarchies. Although the Bible identifies Beth Shemesh as Israelite during the period of the Judges excavators have uncovered a curious array of Canaanite -- Israelite -- Philistine artifacts that suggest considerable political and cultural interaction ...