South of the Sea of Galilee are the remains of one of the largest cities in the Roman-Byzantine Empire, Bet She’an. One of ten ancient cities (hence “Decapolis”) that included Philadelphia (present day Amman in Jordan) and Jerash, Scythopolis ((Bet She’an) was the only decapolis city west of the Jordan river. It was very grand, with a giant theater, streets of tall columns, shops, bathhouses a hippodrome and hundreds of homes.
However, the splendid city was toppled in 749 by a massive earthquake, and never rebuilt. Over the centuries the ruins were overgrown – and it was not until the mid-20th century that Israeli archeologists pulled Bet She’an out of the murk, discovering (and restoring) the theater, the Cardo, the columns and much more.