Historical and Biblical sites in Israel

  • Timeline of historical events
  • Archaeological sites
  • Historical sites by regions

Timeline of historical events in Israel

Archeology in Israel involves the systematic investigation of all the remains of the country's past - from prehistory to the end of Ottoman rule. The profusion of material remains is evidence of the many cultures that have left their imprint on the Land. This unbroken chain of history can be observed at sites all over the country. Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, has been the focus of extensive archeological activity and remains of 5,000 years of history have been revealed.

(17th-6th C. BCE - Before the Common Era)
17th century BCE Abraham, Isaac, Jacob - patriarchs of the Jewish people and bearers of a belief in one God - settle in the Land of Israel.
Famine forces Israelites to migrate to Egypt.
13th century BCE Exodus from Egypt: Moses leads Israelites from Egypt, followed by 40 years of wandering in the desert.
Torah, including the Ten Commandments, received at Mount Sinai.
13th-12th centuries BCE Israelites settle in the Land of Israel
1020 BCE Jewish monarchy established; Saul, first king.
1000 BCE Jerusalem made capital of David's kingdom.
960 BCE First Temple, the national and spiritual center of the Jewish people, built in Jerusalem by King Solomon.
930 BCE Divided kingdom: Judah and Israel
Neo-Assyrian and Neo-Babylonian periods
(732 – 539 BCE)
722 - 720 BCE Israel crushed by Assyrians; 10 tribes exiled (Ten Lost Tribes).
586 BCE Judah conquered by Babylonia; Jerusalem and First Temple destroyed; most Jews exiled.
(538 BCE - 136 CE)
538 - 515 BCE Many Jews return from Babylonia; Temple rebuilt.
332 BCE Land conquered by Alexander the Great; Hellenistic rule.
The Hellenistic period
(332 – 37 BCE)
166 - 160 BCE Maccabean (Hasmonean) revolt against restrictions on practice of Judaism and desecration of the Temple
142 - 129 BCE Jewish autonomy under Hasmoneans.
129 - 63 BCE Jewish independence under Hasmonean monarchy.
63 BCE Jerusalem captured by Roman general, Pompey.
63 BCE - 313 CE Roman rule
The Roman period
(37 BCE – 324 CE)
37 BCE Herod, Roman vassal king, rules the Land of Israel;
Temple in Jerusalem refurbished
4 BCE King Herod dies. Herodian Kingdom divided to Tetrarchies under Roman protection.

0 (CE - The Common Era)
20 - 33 CE Ministry of Jesus of Nazareth
66 CE Jewish revolt against the Romans
70 CE Destruction of Jerusalem and Second Temple.
73 CE Last stand of Jews at Masada.
132 - 135 CE Bar Kokhba uprising against Rome.
210 CE Codification of Jewish oral law (Mishna) completed.
Byzantine Period
(324 CE - 638 CE)
326-335 CE Church of the Nativity is built in Bethlehem and Eleona Basilica and Church of the Holy Sepulchre are built in Jerusalem
390 CE Commentary on the Mishna (Jerusalem Talmud) completed.
614 CE Persian invasion
628 CE The area restores to Byzantine rule.
629 CE Nearly 150,000 Jews are massacred and expelled by Byzantines from Jerusalem and the Galilee.
The Arab Caliphate Period
(636 CE - 1099 CE)
638 CE The conquest of Jerusalem by the armies of the Rashidun Caliphate (Islamic Empire) under Caliph Umar.
691 CE On site of First and Second Temples in Jerusalem, Dome of the Rock built by Caliph Abd el-Malik.
The Crusader period
(Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem 1099 – 1291)
1099 First Crusade and the establishment of the Christian Kingdom of Jerusalem.
1147 - 1149 Second Crusade
1191 Third Crusade led by the armies of Richard the Lionhearted.
1260 Battle of Ain Jalut between the Egyptian Mamluks and the Mongols which took place in the Jezreel Valley.
The Mamluk period
(1260 - 1517)
1291 Fall of Acre which resulted in the Crusaders loss of their last major stronghold of the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem.
The Ottoman period
(1517 - 1917)
1517 conquest of Palestine by the armies of the Turkish Sultan Selim I.
1538 – 1535 Suleiman the Magnificent restores the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem and the Jerusalem city walls (which are the current walls of the Old City of Jerusalem).
1564 Code of Jewish law (Shulhan Arukh) published.
1860 First neighborhood (Yemin Moshe) built outside walls of Jerusalem's Old City.
1882 - 1903 First Aliya (large-scale immigration), mainly from Russia.
1897 First Zionist Congress convened by Theodor Herzl in Basel, Switzerland; Zionist Organization founded.
1904 - 1914 Second Aliya , mainly from Russia and Poland.
1909 First kibbutz , Degania, and first modern all-Jewish city, Tel Aviv, founded.
The British Mandate period
(1917 - 1948)
1917 400 years of Ottoman rule ended by British conquest; British Foreign Minister Balfour pledges support for establishment of a "Jewish national home in Palestine"
1919 - 1923 Third Aliya , mainly from Russia
1920 Histadrut (General Federation of Labor) and Haganah (Jewish defense organization) founded.
Vaad Leumi (National Council) set up by Jewish community (Yishuv) to conduct its affairs.
1921 First moshav (cooperative village), Nahalal, founded.
1922 Britain granted Mandate for Palestine (Land of Israel) by League of Nations; Transjordan set up on three-fourths of the area, leaving one fourth for the Jewish national home.
Jewish Agency representing Jewish community vis-a-vis Mandate authorities set up.
1924 Technion, first institute of technology, founded in Haifa.
1924 - 1932 Fourth Aliya, mainly from Poland.
1925 Hebrew University of Jerusalem opened on Mount Scopus.
1929 Hebron Jews massacred by Arab terrorists.
1931 Etzel, Jewish underground organization, founded.
1933-39 Fifth Aliya, mainly from Germany.
1936-39 Anti-Jewish riots instigated by Arab terrorists.
1939 Jewish immigration severely limited by British White Paper.
1939 - 1945 World War II; Holocaust in Europe.
1941 Lehi underground movement formed; Palmach, strike force of Haganah, set up.
1944 Jewish Brigade formed as part of British forces.
1947 UN proposes the establishment of Arab and Jewish states in the Land.
1948 End of British Mandate (14 May) State of Israel proclaimed (14 May).
Israel invaded by five Arab states (15 May).
Israel Defense Forces (IDF) established. War of Independence (May 1948-July 1949).

Source: mfa.gov.il