Take a virtual of the ancient site Tel Hazor (תל חצור) in this video clip. The site is located in the Upper Galilee Region in the northeast of Israel and is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

Mentioned in the books of Yehoshua (יְהוֹשֻעַ)/Joshua and Shoftim (שֹׁפְטִים)/Judges, Hazor’s ruins tell a long story of culture and conquest from around 2800 BCE to 723 BCE. 

The ancient city of Hazor/Hatzor was divided into two parts: an upper city and a lower city. The video offers panoramic views from the upper city ruins, and it’s easy to see why this site was chosen and why armies fought over it.  

Set on an oval hilltop, the upper city gives a 360 view of the surrounding area. The lower city was located in the valley around the hilltop, surrounded by farmland.  

As the camera pans around, the site’s defensive and agricultural advantages become clear.  

Any approaching enemies could be easily spotted from the hilltop vantage point; attackers would have to fight uphill; and the well-defined hill area could be fortified with walls or towers.  

The video also highlights the lower city’s agricultural advantages, showing the surrounding farmland essential for sustaining a large population. 

These visuals might explain why this ancient city was in the center of many conflicts. In the Complete Jewish Bible, Hazor/Hatzor is linked to Yehoshua’s battles with Yavin king of Hatzor (Joshua 11) and D’vorah and Barak’s battles with Sisra (Judges 4). 

Press play to start exploring Hazor/Hatzor. To earn more about the history and archaeology of the site, Tel Hazor is a good starting point. 

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