Erich Lessing/Art Resource, NY

SHEMER’S HILL. According to the Bible, King Omri of Israel purchased a hill from Shemer, built a town upon it and named it Samaria (1 Kings 16:23–24). This city served as the capital of the northern kingdom of Israel from approximately 880 B.C.E., when it was constructed, until 721 B.C.E., when the Assyrians conquered Israel.