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Boaz Zissu and Dvir Raviv

Samaria is mentioned in sources from the Hellenistic, Roman, and Byzantine periods as a district in Palestine, located between Judea and the Galilee. It extended from the Jezreel valley in the north to the Beth El hills in the south, from the Jordan valley in the east to the Sharon plain in the west. Its southern border with Judea was dynamic, changing frequently. The border changes were only one aspect of the extensive ethnic and demographic changes in the region, which reached their peak in two main periods: the Hasmonean era and the Bar-Kokhba War (the Second Jewish Revolt against Rome, 132–136ce).From the Macedonian conquest through the Ptolemaic and Seleucid periods, there were two main cities in Samaria: the polis of Samaria, which served as a Hellenistic centre of government, and a Samaritan temple-city atop Mount Gerizim. In addition to the literary evidence, archaeological remains have been uncovered in excavations—in the city of Samaria, a large citadel surrounded by towers and the ruins of pagan temples; and on Mount Gerizim, the ruins of a city with a Samaritan cultic compound in its centre.