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Tel Megiddo City Gates

These were not the only gates in ancient Megiddo. The city was destroyed 25 times in antiquity and built/rebuilt 25 times. Each of these 25 versions of Megiddo was its own civilization with unique traditions, history and culture. Today two of these city gates remain.


The ancient city of Megiddo had two gates built at different times, first during the Canaanite period and second during the Israelite era. Both of them are located close to each other, at the northern flank of the tel. The Canaanite era gate is two-chambered and Israelite gate is six-chambered, giving rise to the expression of being built by king Solomon as mentioned in the book of the Kings.

Canaanite Gate

circa 1500 BCE

The Late Bronze Age gate at Megiddo that dates to the Canaanite period. This was built prior to the Israelite conquest of the land. According to Judges 1, Megiddo was not captured or destroyed by the Israelites. It became one in a chain of Canaanite strongholds that stretched across the middle of the country, effective cutting Israelite territory in two.

circa 1500 BCE

Toward the middle of the 2nd millennium, a new gate of unusually large dimensions, built of large ashlars on trimmed basalt foundations, was built in the city's northern wall. It included two pairs of chambers (inspect) with a broad passage between them, providing convenient access to chariots.

Israelite Gate

circa 1000 BCE

The surviving half of the "Solomonic" gate at Megiddo. This view is looking out from inside the the ancient city. Three chambers are visible. (The second one is blocked with small stones.) Gate with a similar design were discovered at Hazor and Gezer. The same architectural gate design calls attention to 1 Kings 9:15, which states that Solomon fortified these three cities during his reign. The gate, which was covered by a roof, had 6 chambers - 3 on each side. The middle chamber (inspect) was not excavated and is filled with stones.

circa 1000 BCE

The new city gate was constructed on the remains of the Canaanite gate in the northern part of wall. It included three sets of chambers with a passage between them; for additional security, towers and an outer gate were added outside this gate. During the reign of Solomon, Megiddo was surrounded by a sturdy casemate wall (two parallel walls with partitions between them, creating rooms). The casemates served as barracks for soldiers and for storage of equipment.


See Also