Tonight I covered I Kings 16 in my class on Old Testament History, so thought about Samaria. King Omri moved the seat of government from Tirzah when he bought the Hill of Samaria.
Samaria later became known as Sebaste when it was given to Herod the Great by Augustus in 30 BC.
The ruins above are only the steps up to one side of the temple.
It would be great to see more archaeological work done in this area.
Another interesting spot is the site of a 5th Century basilica built on the spot where according to tradition John the Baptist was imprisoned and later beheaded. The picture above is from a small crypt below the floor of the ruins.
There is a claim that John the Baptist’s head was buried there, but there are so many conflicting claims about the resting place of his head and body that I will only give it a mention.
I hope you enjoyed this little tour of Samaria/Sebaste.