Capital of the northern kingdom, Israel, from Omri's time onwards, Samaria stood at a crossroads in the high country of Ephraim. The tell rose some 300ft above the surrounding fields. (This suggests an alternative explanation of the name Shomron to that given in 1 Kgs 16:24, the name may be derived from shmr "watch/guard" - Shomron = watch-hill.)

Remains of Ahab's Palace in Samaria from McMath Samar01)
Omri's son, Ahab built as his palace, an ‘ivory house’ (1 Kgs 22:39). This probably means a palace decorated with ivory plaques like those uncovered in the Samaria excavations. A number of these plaques were found, Phoenician in style, though since some are only partly finished, it is likely they were made in Samaria. They are decorated with a variety of pictures and motifs including animals and flowers, often showing Egyptian influence. Some date from Ahab's time, though more come from Jeroboam II.



This page is part of the Hypertext Bible Commentary - Amos , if you have reached it as a standalone page, to view it in context, go to
© Tim Bulkeley, 1996-2005, Tim Bulkeley. All rights reserved.