Hazor gate

Megiddo gate

Gezer gate

Solomon's Fortifications

Israel was situated on the "land bridge" which connected three continents and across which a major international trade route ran. This invited the kind of traffic through the neighborhood that could be dangerous. According to 1 Kings 9:15-19, in the interest of homeland security Solomon proceeded to strengthen Jerusalem's defenses and to build three major fortified bases from which his chariot forces could operate: Hazor, Megiddo and Gezer. These three were stragegically located. Hazor guraded the northern approaches to the country. Megiddo guarded the mountain pass that opened into the Jezreel Valley. Gezer guarded the coastal plain and especially the approaches to the mountians of Judah and the capital city.

To increase security, the road leading up to a fortified city would not approach the gate straight on. Rather a virtually right angle approach would prevent a direct assault against the gate.


Model of Megiddo

The outcome of renewed excavations at Gezer was the realization that all three sites exhibit virtually identical design and dimension. This led to Y. Yadin's conclusion that they must have been the product of a single architect.

William Dever, Yohanan Aharoni and Paul Ferris discuss the Gezer gate.

Comparison of Solomonic Gates