Bet Shean – Roman and Byzantine Scythopolis – was located in the Jordan valley at the junction of two international roads. One went from Caesarea, on the Mediterranean coast, to Aila, today Aqaba, on the Red Sea; the other led from Syria and the north to central Palestine along the Jordan Valley.1 This situation contributed much to the economic basis of the city, and had an influence on the urban planning of the city and its streets. Of the main arteries, Northwestern Street (Caesarea Street) was a continuation of the Caesarea-Scythopolis road (via Legio) into the city centre.2 It proceeded

1 For Bet Shean/Scythopolis, its history and archaeology, see among others M. AviYonah, ‘Scythopolis’, IEJ 12 (1962), 123-34; G. Fuks, Scythopolis: a Greek city in Eretz Israel [in Hebrew] (Jerusalem, 1983), and bibliography there. The present article is based on the preliminary results and publications of the excavations that took place mostly during 198696, with minor work in subsequent years. The excavations were carried out mainly by two teams: the Hebrew university team, headed by G. Foerster and Yoram Tsafrir, and the Israel Antiquities Authority team, headed by G. Mazor and R. Bar-Nathan. For the bibliographical notes on the preliminary reports of both teams in addition to the first conclusions, see Y. Tsafrir and G. Foerster, ‘Urbanism at Scythopolis: Bet Shean in the fourth to seventh centuries’, DOP 51 (1997), 85-146, and an extensive bibliography there. To this article, one should add also later publications: G. Mazor and R. Bar-Nathan, ‘The Bet She’an Excavation Project – 19921994, Antiquities Authority Expedition’, ESI 17 (1998), 14-17, and G. Foerster and Y. Tsafrir, ‘Skythopolis: Vorposten der Dekapolis’, in A. Hoffmann and S. Kerner, eds., Gadara: Gerasa und die Dekapolis (Mainz am Rhein, 2002), 72-87. For a complete list of historical sources, see also Y. Tsafrir, L. Di Segni and J. Green, Iudaea: Palaestina, Maps and Gazetteer, TIR (Jerusalem, 1994), esp. 223-5 and maps.