John Lokke, 1999

Bethsaida’s massive bulwark was designed to counter the most dreaded military weapon of Iron Age II (1000–587 B.C.E.)—the Assyrian battering ram. The 25-foot-thick wall soared above a rampart made of crushed limestones and dirt, beneath which a short but steep slope deterred interlopers. Though other major cities in the region featured similar fortifications, the width of Bethsaida’s walls was unprecedented for their time, and their excellent state of preservation even today testifies to their sturdiness.