Goliath gates: Entrance to famous biblical metropolis uncovered
A massive gate unearthed in Israel may have marked the entrance to a biblical city that, in its heyday, was the biggest metropolis in the region. The town, called Gath, was occupied until the ninth century B.C. In biblical accounts, the Philistines — the mortal enemies of the Israelites — ruled the city. The Old Testament also describes Gath as the home of Goliath, the giant warrior whom the Israelite King David felled with a slingshot. The new findings reveal just how impressive the ancient Philistine city once was, said Aren Maeir of Bar-Ilan University in Israel, the lead archaeologist on the current excavation.
These monumental fortifications stress how large and mighty this city was.
Aren Maeir, of Bar-Ilan University in Israel, lead archaeologist
The team was digging trenches to look for the ancient city’s fortifications when they found the top surface of a monumental gate and fortifications. Because the remaining walls are so massive, it may take several seasons to fully uncover them, Maeir said. So far, only the top surfaces of the structures are visible, but based on the size and shape of the stones used to make them, the city walls must have been quite large. The mighty fortifications would have formed a rather imposing boundary that prevented the Kingdom of Judah from expanding westward, he added.