Tell (mound) Mea'mer (Al Amar) is a biblical city on the eastern side of Mount Carmel. It is identified with "Geva Shemen" and "Harosheth of the Gentiles".
Judges 4, 13: "And Sisera gathered together all his chariots, even nine hundred chariots of iron, and all the people that were with him, from Harosheth of the Gentiles unto the river of Kishon".
* The Tell
Tell (Mound) Maamar was a biblical city on the main ancient road (Via-Maris), on the eastern side of Mt. Carmel. It is identified as the Biblical Geva-Shemen, or "hill of oil", and "Harosheth of the Gentiles" where Barak defeated Sisra.
In the Hellenistic period it was abandoned and continued in a hill west to the Tell (Khirbet Harithiya) , on the other side of the Kishon. The new site was identified by some scholars as "Geva", "Geva Parashim" or "Gaba" .
At this place the Kishon river flows around the eastern side of the Tell, providing it with water. A nature park and picnic place is located by the river.
Khirbet Harithiya is located inside the Kibbutz Shaar Haamakim ("the gate to the valleys") and north-west to it. It is expanded in another page.
According to the Archaeological survey, there were pottery findings from the Chalcolithic period (4,500-3150BC) in the area. The city continued to be populated in the Early Bronze (3150-2200 BC), and especially in the middle Bronze (Caananite) period (2200-1550BC).
Late Bronze (Canaanite)
In the late Bronze period (1550BC- 1200BC) the city was an important city. It was mentioned in list of cities ("Geva-Shemen") that were conquered in 1468BC by Egyptian Pharaoh Thutmose III.
Later, Pharaoh Amenhotep II returned to Israel in 1429 BC in order to crush a second rebellion from cities in Jezreel Valley. One of the cities that are referred in his tablets is Geva-Shemen, where he replaced the governor.
The City was not listed in Biblical texts, but it was in the Asher tribe region.
During the period of the Judges, the armies of Judge Deborah and military leader Barak meet the army of Canaanite Sisera in a place called "Harosheth of the Gentiles", which is identified as this site. The 10,000 Israelites defeated the Canaanites in spite of their 900 Iron Chariots.
Hellenistic and Hasmonai
Later, the city gradually became a minor site and finally abandoned, since it was too small for the larger population. The new city was established during the Hellenistic period on the hills east of the Tell, in Khirbet Harithiya. It first started as a farm in the Persian period, grew, then finally replaced the old city.
According to an archaeological survey the city "phased out" during the Roman/Byzantine period.
Today both the old city (Geva-Shemen) and new city (Geva, Kh. Harithiya) are in ruins. On top of the old city and to the south of it is the new Kibbutz of Shaar Haamakim.
South to the Tell is Kiryat Haroshet, which is named after the Biblical "Harosheth of the Gentiles".
Note that Kibbutz Geva is not related to this site. It is located north of the Gilboa mountain.
The following aerial view shows the points of interest. You can point on the purple points to navigate to the selected point. In this view you can see that the Kishon river/brook turns around the old city of Tell Meamer. You can also see the new city (Geva, or Kh. Harithiya) on the east of the old city. On the right side is the modern highway from Haifa to Yokneam and TelAviv, which is in the same route as Via-Maris.
The following photo shows a view of the Tell Al-Amar (Geva), as seen from the south-west hill - across the highway. The Tell has two parts: an upper city to the north (left side) and a lower city to the south (right side).
The Kishon river winds around and behind the Tell, flowing from right to left towards the bay of Haifa. As can be seen, the ancient road of Via Maris, passing at this point, had a very narrow corridor that was completely under the control of this ancient city, hence its strategic importance.
Click on the photo to view it in higher resolution...
Kh. Harithiya is seen on the center-left hill behind the Tell, just above the tree in the center of the Tell. On its right side is Kibbutz Sha'ar-Haamakim. Behind the Kibbutz, on the far background, is the city of Tivon.
A view of the north side of the Tell is seen below.
The Tell changes its view and colors throughout the seasons. The photos below were taken during the spring time, when the Tell is dressed with purple wild flowers.
A closer view of the north-west side of the Tell.
During the short spring time the western slopes are covered with wild flowers.
A closer view of the wild flowers. The flower's name is "Althaea setosa Boiss", and in Hebrew "Khatamit Zifanit". They flower from April thru June, and reach up to 2M height (More info in link below; thanks to uncle Ronnie).
A detailed view of the "Khatamit Zifanit" flowers.
The Kishon creek is located 100M to the east and north of the Tell, and in ancient times may have completely surrounded it for defense purposes. A photo of the eastern section is seen below, taken in late November before the flooding of the winter season (which normally happens during December through March). The Tell is seen in the center background.
A view towards the south: the Turkish bridge is seen in the background, and behind it is Mount Carmel. The Turkish railway, from Haifa to Hejaz, used the south bridge to cross the Kishon.
A small park was constructed here, in memory of Shoshi Perry, and is a nice place for a picnic (tables are located beneath the central Eucalyptus tree), and a stroll along the path that follows the Kishon creek. The entrance to the park is north of the main road, 50M east of the bridge.
Although it looks like a small creek, this is the actual place of the Kishon river, where Barak defeated Sisera. Judges 5 1+21: "Then sang Deborah and Barak the son of Abinoam on that day, saying... The river of Kishon swept them away, that ancient river, the river Kishon. O my soul, thou hast trodden down strength".
The site is identified as "Harosheth of the Gentiles" where the Judge Deborah had Barak ben Avinoam trap the army and Chariots of Sisera, the General of the Canaanite King Jabin, and defeat him.
"And I will draw unto thee to the river Kishon Sisera, the captain of Jabin's army, with his chariots and his multitude; and I will deliver him into thine hand...."
"And Sisera gathered together all his chariots, even nine hundred chariots of iron, and all the people that were with him, from Harosheth of the Gentiles unto the river of Kishon".
"But Barak pursued after the chariots, and after the host, unto Harosheth of the Gentiles: and all the host of Sisera fell upon the edge of the sword; and there was not a man left".
"And the hand of the children of Israel prospered, and prevailed against Jabin the king of Canaan, until they had destroyed Jabin king of Canaan".
The Judge Deborah sang the famous song after this victory:
"Then sang Deborah and Barak the son of Abinoam on that day, saying,"
"The river of Kishon swept them away, that ancient river, the river Kishon. O my soul, thou hast trodden down strength".
Site: Tell Meamer Maps: 34, 36
Three conquests of Canaan - Eero Junkkaala  - a large article, some reference on Tell el-Amar
Gai-Yiftachel - The border between Asher and Zebulun - (Hebrew; pdf) - the article by Zvi Gal suggests that this site was actually the Biblical city of Khelkat, which bordered between the two tribes. It identifies Geva at Tell Kassis near Yokneam or Tell Abu-Shusha near Mishmar-Haemek .
Wild flowers of Israel
You can also learn about the story of a Tell in our info page.