What is Megiddo?:
Megiddo is an ancient city which is today associated with the Tell el-Mutesellim. Occupation of the site can be traced to the early 4th millennium BCE. It is most famous for its association with Armageddon, a Greek transliteration of the Hebrew for Mount Megiddo. No such mountain exists, but the book of Revelations describes the site as that of the apocalypse.
Where is Megiddo?:
Megiddo occupied a strategic location on the western part of the Plain of Esdraelon, 20 miles southeast of Haifa and 10 miles northwest of Jenin. It sits at the northern end of an important pass through the Carmel mountain range (Nahal Iron). Megiddo was in a fertile valley with a good water supply, making it easier to hold.
Why is Megiddo important?:
Two important routes passed through Megiddo: one between Phoenica in the north to Jerusalem in the south, and a second linked Egypt with Damascus. It was thus a rich city in times of peace, but a good meeting point for armies in time of war. From Pharaoh Thutmose III in the 15th century BCE to British General Allenby in 1918, control of Megiddo has been vital to military operations in the region.
It is mentioned in a number of ancient texts, often outsiders discussing battles fought there. Archaeological excavations have revealed many heavy fortifications built over the course of millennia. Walls as thick as 8 meters have been identified, but the site has been burned down and rebuilt so many times that archaeologists have had a tough time figuring out exactly how the ancient site was laid out.