04_Aphek_MBEgyptianPalace During the Middle Bronze Age (2000-1550 BC), Egypt maintained a presence in the land of Israel, with governors posted along important trade routes, such as Bethshean and Aphek, which guarded the bottleneck from the Via Maris to the Jezreel Valley.  This palace excavated among the Crusader ruins at Aphek (later Antipatris) reveal a luxurious multi-level structure where the Egyptian governor would have lived and overseen the taxation and trade in the region.