Discovery of fortified gate strengthens claim ruins belong to lost city of Goliath
Discovery of fortified gate strengthens claim ruins belong to lost city of Goliath.
IT was an Iron Age city. It had a monumental fortified gate. But are the ruins now being excavated in Israel that of the lost city of Gath — the home of biblical giant Goliath? The site is not new: It’s been the subject of various excavations since 1899. What is new is the realisation of the full extent of the ruins. It’s only in the past 20 or so years that it has been revealed to be an expansive city — not a fort as originally thought.
“We knew that Philistine Gath in the tenth to ninth century (BCE) was a large city, perhaps the largest in the land at that time,” excavation leader Professor Aren Maeir told Live Science. “These monumental fortifications stress how large and mighty this city was.” Archaeologists have been scouring the former Holy Land — now divided between the warring states of Palestine and Israel — for evidence of biblical stories for centuries.
So there is no surprise that such a link has been drawn to these structures — in the Judaean Foothills, about halfway between Jerusalem and Ashkelon — which have been dated between 2900 and 3000 years old. The ruins show evidence of continuous settlement from the 5th millennium BCE. Excavators from Bar-Ilan University in Tel Aviv — as well as a team from the University of Melbourne — have identified the rubble of Tell es-Safi as belonging to one of five city states belonging to Israel’s ancient foes, the Philistines.