Pella is a magnificent 10-hectare site, set in beautiful surroundings beside a perennial spring in the eastern foothills of the north Jordan valley. Human occupation in the region around Pella stretches back over half a million years and the site itself has been continuously occupied from around 8000 BC. As a result, the tell at Pella contains over 20 meters of occupation debris spanning the past 10,000 years. Excavations unearthed many important discoveries, including: Neolithic housing (ca. 6000 BC); Early Bronze Age stone defensive platforms (ca. 3200 BC); massive Middle Bronze Age mudbrick city walls (ca. 1800 BC); Late Bronze Age residences, some with clay tablets (ca. 1350 BC); large areas of the Hellenistic city (destroyed by war in 83 BC); the theatre, baths and fountain-house of the Roman city (ca. 150 AD); three Byzantine churches (ca. 550 AD); an early Islamic city destroyed by an earthquake (ca. 750 AD); and many other finds that bring Pella’s history up to the present day.
The fourth-century church historian Eusebius of Caesarea tells of the earliest Christians’ escape to Pella from Jerusalem just before the latter city was destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D.
The first settlers at ancient Pella arrived in the Neolithic period, around 7500 B.C., and the site’s occupation continued for thousands of years. When it came to the first-century A.D. settlement at Pella, archaeology surprisingly produced practically no remains. It seems that no one was living there at the time. Soon after, the Romans resettled ancient Pella in the second century and developed it into a thriving economic center.