Tell Bet Shean, rising up in the center of the city, reflects to a certain extent what was transpiring in the city beginning from its conquest and during the second half of the 6th century CE, the essence of which was a process of continuity accompanied by gradual change. The tell, which served during the Roman period as the city’ acropolis and the temple of Zeus Akraios was located there, was already gradually changing its appearance during the Byzantine period. It seems that after a church was established on the tell, the tell was occupied by a residential neighborhood, which may have been connected with the monastery that was founded there. In the neighborhood were also the remains of a paved street that ascended from the tell gate and ran between the church and the residential neighborhood. After the conquest, the church was dismantled or perhaps destroyed by the earthquake of 559/660 CE, and the residential quarter gradually spread out into the area formally occupied by the destroyed church and the monastery next to it. The axis of the road on the tell was changed and it was now paved on top of the church remains.


Alongside the houses from the Byzantine period, large courtyard houses were constructed in the Byzanto-Arab period, extensively utilizing the church’s stones and its columns on which some Arabic inscriptions were found. Despite this, the monasteries of Tel Iztabba continued in their activities without any disturbance. Residential neighborhoods developed on the fringes of the city and outside its destroyed walls. An Early Islamic stratum was discerned in the Byzantine dwellings that were built outside the city wall in the 6th century CE and next to them were built courtyard houses similar to those found on the tell. A rich find of gold coins and magnificent glazed pottery vessels dating to the Early Islamic period reflect, together with the size and splendor of the houses, the lifestyle of the Muslim elite that settled in the city along side the Christian population.