SamariaSamaria - When Omri became king of Israel, he wanted a captial that matched the glory of the southern kingdom's captial of Jerusalem.  So he built the city of Samaria.


"He bought the hill Samaria from Shemer for two talents of silver; and he built on the hill, and named the city which he built Samaria, after the name of Shemer, the owner of the hill." (I Kings 16:24, NASB)


Excavations have revealed the splendor of the ancient city; however, after the conquest of the northern kingdom by Assyria, its residents were forcibly removed and exiled to other parts of the empire.  This led to its re-population by non-Jews (or gentiles) who mingled with the Jews who returned there after the fall of the Assyrian Empire, and gave rise to the people who became known as Samaritans (II Kings 17:24).