Gath of Philistia

Gath (called Tell es-Safi today after Crusader “Blanche Garde”) was primarily inhabited during the Early Bronze, especially EB III. The settlement extended into Area E. The Upper Settlement was the only one with the least bit of habitation during the Middle Bronze and Persian period, the MB wall being found at Area F Lower. The city only expanded into Area A during the Ramesside era and continued expansion well into Iron I, reaching Area D at least in the Early Iron IIA (probably c. 940 BC). Gath then continued in its position as a 100-acre Philistine Megapolis, spurred by the fall of Ekron IV, whose cause may be attributed to Gath (it wasn’t Shoshenq I, for all we know). Gath was then destroyed within 15 years of 810 BC by Hazael of Damascus [2 Kings 12:17], who erected the siege trench highlighted in blue, which was later used by the Byzantines. The trench, used in place of a siege wall due to greater ease in construction, was manned by several Aramean towers and succeeded in its purpose. Gath Area A and F was re-inhabited in the mid-8th C BC, re-inhabited again in the Late 8th C BC, and had its summit inhabited by the Persians.

Author: pithom

An atheist with an interest in the history of the ancient Near East. Author of the Against Jebel al-Lawz Wordpress blog.

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