Search
Close this search box.

Tel Dothan

Biblical Tels in Israel

Have you ever wondered if it is like to stand in a location of great historical and religious significance? Located in northern Samaria, Tel Dothan may just seem like a pile of rocks, but it is the symbolism and religious history that make this location so special to many people.


Tel-Dothan-Josephs-Well
The Pit According to the Tradition Jaboc Was Thrown into by His Brothers (Wikipedia CC BY-SA 4.0)

The Story of Joseph’s Betrayal

So Tel Dotan (Tel Dothan) is a large ancient settlement in the center of the Dotan Valley; about 10 km southwest of the city of Jenin on the Nablus-Jenin road. It rises 60 meters above the valley; its summit area is about 40 At the foot of the mound it passed through the mountain. Moreover, the mound with the biblical Dotan was identified as early as the 14th century by Ishtori Haparchi. 

Here you can stand where the story of Joseph’s betrayal of his brothers occurred; eventually leading him to become a leader to his people. By taking a private tour of Tel Dothan with me; you will have the opportunity to learn the stories as well as personally and spiritually connect with the land in a meaningful and transformative experience that you will remember for many years to come. 


Pottery Found at Tel Dothan Dated to the 12th Century BCE. On Display at the Israel Museum
(Credit: Yoav Dothan)

One of the primary reasons that Tel Dothan has become so famous is due to its story of Joseph. Joseph, son of Jacob, was the preferred son, which made his brothers very jealous. After Joseph had two dreams implying his supremacy over others, his brothers became enraged. One day at Tel Dothan; Joseph went to visit his brothers as they tended the flock. Upon his arrival, all of his brothers, excluding Reuben, threw Joseph into a pit intending to leave him there to die. However, a camel caravan was soon based, and the brothers decided to sell Joseph to traders who were on their way to Egypt. What sounds like a horrifying story eventually led to Joseph becoming one of the most powerful men in all of Egypt. 

Archaeological Excavations at Tel Dothan 

Excavations at Tel Dothan were conducted between 1953 and 1964 by archaeologist Joseph Paul Free on behalf of Wheaton College. During the nine seasons of excavation at the site, the fruit revealed archeological remains from 21 different strata. The main architectural remains are from the Early Bronze Age, Late Bronze Age, Iron Age I, and Iron Age II.

A structure was discovered on the southern side of Tel Dothan; which Perry identified as an administrative structure where taxes; such as wheat; olive oil and other goods; were collected. During the excavation of the structure; archaeologists uncovered hundreds of special kinds of pottery (urns with a wide opening); and in some of them, there is evidence that these were used to store grain and oil. Furthermore, samples taken from the destruction layer on the floors of the building and examined on carbon-14 dating in the laboratory showed that the building was destroyed in the late 9th century BC. 

An Altar Was Found on the Mound! 

In 2013, altar fragments made of local limestone; with four horns from the Iron Age II; were discovered at Tel Dothan. Its dimensions are 65X65 cm and its total thickness at the center point is 18 cm. Apparently, altars of this type were used to burn incense or other material and were not used for sacrificing animals or other offerings. So the researchers’ hypothesis is that due to the location of the find within a system of buildings; the altar can be reliably dated to the beginning of the Iron Age II (9th century BC). Following the discovery of the altar, it is speculated that it was used primarily for worship purposes. So don’t think about too much and come tour Tel Dothan with me! 

arik-about

Hi! My name is Arik, an Israeli native who dedicated his life to sharing my passion for the Holy Land with those interested in knowing more about this incredible piece of land. I’m the Chief Guide at ‘APT Private Tours in Israel’.

Did you know the Hoopoe is Israel's national bird?! For more cool info about Israel, join our ever growing community and get exclusive travel tips, and giveaways!

Tell Balata

RELATED POSTS

Deer Land

Deer Land is a farm features a nature reserve with wildlife, a petting zoo, and a range of extreme sports and a zip line!

The Aqueduct at Caesarea

The aqueduct at Caesarea was built by Herod the Great. It brought the fresh water from springs in the area and has a great beach ...

The Cardo

The Cardo was the main street in Old Jerusalem during the Roman and Byzantine periods, passing from the Damascus Gate to the Dung Gate.

Goren Park

Goren Park is a stunning nature reserve offering various activities and attractions. One of the attractions is the view of Montfort Castle.

Superland Amusement Park

Superland is a vibrant and exhilarating playground that promises an unforgettable day of fun, laughter, and excitement for all ages.

Robinson’s Arch

Robinson's Arch, dated to the 2nd Temple Period, is a remarkable archaeological remnant! A testament to ancient engineering prowess

Gordon Beach

Nestled along the vibrant coastline of Tel Aviv, Gordon Beach stands as a captivating fusion of urban energy and seaside serenity.

The Mosque of Al-Khadr

The Mosque of Al-Khadr in Lod is a unique and sacred place for Muslims. It is named after Al-Khidr, a mysterious figure in Islamic tradition.

Samaria (Sebast)

Ancient Samaria (Sebast), the capital of the Kingdom of Israel, is rich with archaeological remains worth visiting.

Church of Bartholomew

The Church of Bartholomew is named after Saint Bartholomew, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ, on route to the Sea of Galilee.

Need help?

Skip to content