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Solomon's Gate at Megiddo

Solomon's Gate at Megiddo

This is a model of Megiddo. Megiddo is known today for the prophecy of the coming battle of Armageddan (which is actually Har Megiddo). The gate structure in the center is generally attributed to Solomon's reign. The smaller gate in front of and below the main gate is from an earlier time period.

So what is the big deal about the gate? Cities in ancient times were very vulnerable to attacks. The entrance to the city was especially a concern. As a result, large gate complexes, such as this were built. An attacker would have to make it through several gates to get inside the city. And many archers would be stationed up on the towers, as well as burning oil, rocks, and other nasty defenses. Often the first gate faced the opposite direction as Solomon's so that soldiers trying to enter would have their right side (the side that isn't protected by their shield) exposed to the city walls. Attacking a city through the gates was very difficult. Visit the Assyrian Siege Ramp at Lachish to see how attackers generally got into a city.

By the way, the buildings inside the wall and to the left are the famous Stables of Solomon. Megiddo is listed in the Bible as one of the cities fortified by Solomon, of which there were two types - storehouses and chariot cities. Well, early excavators attributed these structures to stables for the horses that pulled the chariots. Many consider these to be storehouses now, but we are not sure of the exact function of the buildings.

    For a change, visit the Archaeological Methods Tour:
  • Tell Jericho

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