Since 1994, Megiddo has been the subject of biannual excavation campaigns conducted by the Megiddo Expedition of Tel Aviv University, currently co-directed by TAU Prof. Israel Finkelstein and Prof. Eric H. Cline of The George Washington University, and a consortium of international universities.
Megiddo is the jewel in the crown of biblical archaeology. Strategically perched above the most important land route in the ancient Near East, the city dominated international traffic for 6,000+ years – from c. 7000 BCE through to biblical times. As civilizations came and went, succeeding settlements at ancient Megiddo were built on the ruins of their predecessors, creating a multi-layered archaeological legacy of unparalleled treasures –monumental temples, lavish palaces, mighty fortifications, and remarkably engineered water systems.
It was the site of epic battles that decided the fate of western Asia; where the Egyptians took their first steps toward empire building; where Assyria staged its deportation of the people of the Northern Kingdom of Israel; and it was here that Josiah – the last righteous king of the lineage of David – was killed by Pharaoh Necho II, opening the way for centuries of messianic yearning.
Megiddo is the only site in Israel mentioned by every great power in the ancient Near East. In the New Testament it appears as Armageddon (a Greek corruption of the Hebrew Har [=Mount] Megiddo), location of the millennial battle between the forces of good and evil. Megiddo is an archetypal historical site whose cast of characters includes Canaanites, Egyptians, Israelites, Assyrians, and Persians in the biblical period and Ottoman Turks and Englishmen in the modern era. And it was the inspiration for James Michener's bestseller, The Source.