Biblical Archaeology Review 9:5, September/October 1983

Scholars’ Corner: Is the Solomonic City Gate at Megiddo Really Solomonic?

By Valerie M. Fargo

Biblical Archaeology Review

In the 1930s, a team of archaeologists from the University of Chicago’s Oriental Institute uncovered a massive six-chambered city gateway at the great mound of Megiddo. The excavators assigned the gate to the period from 1000–800 B.C.; they ascribed the construction of the gate to King Solomon.1

In the 1950s and 1960s, excavations at Hazor and Gezer revealed city gates that were virtually identical to the Megiddo gate. Not only did they have the same plan, but their dimensions were very similar. All three gateways were constructed of the same material—well-dressed ashlar stone blocks, well-matched and carefully laid out. Each gate had six chambers, and at the outer corners were two towers that joined the city wall.

Based on both the archaeological evidence and the Biblical evidence, scholars unanimously concluded that all three gates had been constructed by King Solomon—who had obviously used the same royal architect at all three sites.

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