Archaeologists Uncover Gates to Biblical City Gath

Archaeologists conducting excavations in the Tel Zafit National Park have unearthed the entrance gate and fortifications of the Biblical city Gath, belonging to the Philistines and thrived during the 10th-9th centuries BCE.

City Gates of Gath and Fortification Walls Found by Archaeologists

Archaeologists of the Ackerman Family Bar-Ilan University Expedition have come across the entrance gate to the ancient, influential city of Gath during an excavation of the area near the Judean Foothills.

Led by professor Aren Maeir of the Martin (Szusz) Department of Land of Israel Studies and Archaeology, the dig has revealed one of the biggest city gates in Israel at the city of Gath.

The city gate that Maeir’s team found is an important part of biblical archaeology as it was referenced in the Bible, 1 Samuel 21, where David was fleeing from King Saul and seeking shelter with the king of Gath.

Archaeologists Uncover Gates to Biblical City Gath - Clapway

Gath’s Significance in Biblical Archaeology

Maeir and fellow archaeologists at the archaeological site believe the large gates show the ancient city’s important status during the period it flourished. Other evidence of the city’s influential power were seen in the magnificent fortification walls and the buildings within the city gates.

Along with the gate and walls, a temple and a building believed to be involved in iron production were found by the Ackerman Fellows. Though the ancient city had been destroyed in 830 BCE by Hazael, a king of Damascus, the archaeologists managed to uncover some of the city’s rich history thanks to the expedition, which has been an archaeology project that has been going on for 20 years.

Included among the cool findings at the site at Philistine temples that date back to the 11th century BCE and may have been referenced in the Bible (Amos 1:1). Other biblical finds include items from Philistine culture and the earliest legible inscription that may have the giant Philistine warrior Goliath’s name on it.

Ongoing Excavations at Gath

With the help of archaeologists and researchers from universities all over the world, Maeir and the Ackerman Fellows have been able to study Israel’s archaeological importance in Gath through the expedition.

To read more about the project and to get the most up-to-date information, check out the Ackerman Fellows blog.

The blog may say “unofficial” on the front page, but it’s official that the archaeologists and their work at Gath has contributed significantly to Israel’s archaeology.

(Credit to Griffin Aerial Imaging for the Aerial Image Shot of Gath).

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