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Samaria was the capital of the northern Kingdom of Israel in the 9th and 8th centuries BC. The ruins of the city are located in the Samaria mountains of the West Bank, almost 10 km to the northwest of Nablus. In 30 BC the emperor Augustus awarded the city to Herod the Great, who renamed it Sebaste in honor of Augustus. Remains from this period include the Augusteum, consisting of a temple and a large forecourt built over the Omride palace at the summit of the acropolis; a city gate and an east-west colonnaded street; a theater on the northeast slope of the acropolis; a Temple to Kore on a terrace north of the acropolis, and a stadium to the northeast in the valley below.

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