TofG 191

Excavation in Israel has uncovered the monumental gate of the Biblical city of Gath.

The story of David and Goliath is popular. The Israelite youth took on an unstoppable force, armed with only a slingshot and some stones, only to topple the fearsome Goliath. David later went on to found a dynasty of kings.

The city of Gath was later destroyed, though during the 9th and 10th centuries B.C. it was one of the largest in the region. A group of archaeologists uncovered a massive stone gate that lay before fortified stone walls complete with pottery and an iron production facility. In fact, the pottery bore techniques derived from Israelites’, hinting at a deeper relationship between the Israelites and Gath than previously shown.

The site has been under the Ackerman Family Bar-Ilan University Expedition for nearly 20 years, and the group has found a number of significant finds during their time there. According to Professor Aren Maeir of Bar-Ilan University, the team has a lot to do as they continue to discover “quite an astonishing find.”

There has been evidence unearthed relating to the siege in 830 BC led by the King of Aram Damascus, which led to widespread destruction of the city. The city appears to be deeply involved in iron smelting, with works located toward the bottom of the city. Of course, once the city was destroyed a lot of this information was buried deep beneath the destruction.

Overall, the excavation has been massively successful. The team discovered far more than the gate, though it is true that the gate is a huge discovery. They unearthed evidence of an earthquake in the 8th century BC, which may be the “disaster” spoken of in the Hebrew Bible’s Book of Amos. They even found some early, legible inscriptions that held names close to Goliath.

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