HEBRON — Large fortifications dating to the time of the biblical king David have been found below an archaeological dig site already thought to be Gath, the hometown of the giant Philistine Goliath.
The walls, made of 3-6 foot stone blocks and large burnt bricks, were found at Tell es-Safi, a hill dig site not far from Hebron that has uncovered numerous finds from various time periods, including what appears to be that of the inhabitation of the Philistines.
Archeologists thought that discovered remains from the time of the destruction of Gath by Hazael, the king of Syria, as noted in 2 Kings 12:17 (“Then Hazael, king of Syria, went up and fought against Gath, and took it.”) would be the largest to be found at Tell es-Safi. However, this summer, it was decided to dig deeper, down at the lower city of Gath, to see what was there.
“I’ve been digging here for 23 years, and this place still manages to surprise me,” Aren Maeir, a professor of archaeology at Bar-Ilan University near Tel Aviv who leads the dig project, told Haaretz. “All along we had this older, giant city that was hiding just a meter under the city we were digging.”
“We got the feeling that perhaps this earlier phase [of Gath] is larger and dramatically more impressive than the city that was destroyed by Hazael,” he also outlined to The Times of Israel. “It’s a surprise, but on the other hand — it explains something
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