Tel Megiddo

Tel Megiddo. By AVRAM GRAICER – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

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.

Aside from the archaeological arguments in favor of this conclusion, the Biblical accounts of Solomon’s reign indicate that he undertook extensive building projects. Although many were in Jerusalem, Solomon also constructed city walls at several other major cities in his domain. Indeed, Hazor, Megiddo and Gezer are mentioned specifically.

Read the rest of Scholars’ Corner: Is the Solomonic City Gate at Megiddo Really Solomonic? in the online Biblical Archaeology Society Library.