Sonia Halliday and Laura Lushington

The massive mound of Megiddo rises more than 100 feet above the Jezreel Valley. Famous as the location of the apocalyptic battle at the end of days predicted by the Book of Revelation (Revelation 16:16)—Armageddon is a corruption of the Hebrew Har (Mount of) Megiddo—this 8,000-year-old site in northern Israel has been the scene of many battles thanks to its strategic location astride international trade routes.

The aerial photo, taken from the east, shows several features discussed in the accompanying article. The wide gash at bottom center was created in the 1920s and 1930s by University of Chicago excavators, who identified 20 major habitation levels at Megiddo; at center, slightly to the right of the upper end of the shadowed gash, is a large round altar dating to the Early Bronze Age; a deep, round grain silo (left of center in the upper third of the photo, with people gathered around it) dates to the ninth or eighth centuries B.C.E.; a second, even larger circular depression (above the grain silo, at top edge of photo) leads down to a ninth-century B.C.E. water tunnel, which connected the city to a spring southwest of the mound; lastly, at far right in the photo, is the area of the city’s gates, including those assigned by many scholars to King Solomon’s time (tenth century B.C.E.).