Gezer

Tel Gezer is an archælogical site in Israel (for a history of the research see Gezer).

Evidence of Palæolithic inhabitation were dicovered by Macalister. Later inhabitants were the ancient Trogolodyte men (possibly related to the Natufian). These were probably driven out by Semites, whose own settlement was destroyed. The city emerged once more in the Middle Bronze age; the earliest defences were built as well as the notorious "high place". It was captured and destroyed by Pharaoh Thutmoses III. The city was rebuilt and regained most of its former riches. During this period the outer wall and (possibly) the water tunnel were constructed. The city was destroyed once more, by either Pharaoh Merneptah (see Merneptah Stele) or Joshua ben Nun and the Tribes of Israel (Jos. 10:34).

The city, it seems, remained deserted until the coming of the Philistines, whose finest construction is visible in the acropolis of the city. The city was a border outpost and remained philistine during the days of the Judges and kings Saul and David. In the days of Solomon the city was captured by a certain Pharaoh (possibly Siamon) and given to the Israelite king as a dowery (1 Kings 9:16). Solomon rebuilt the defences of the Gezer, Hatzor and Meggido on the same model (Chambered gates and Casemate walls); the Gezer Calender belongs to this period. The City was attacked by Pharaoh Shoshenq I and later by Tiglath-Pileser III of Assyria.

In Assyrian hands, Gezer was a city of importance. Several rich graves date to the persian period. Seleucid forces used Gezer in the time of the Macabean revolt and also restored some of its defenses. Simon Maccabaeus conquered Gezer and his son, John Hyrcanus, built there a fortress. Roman baths and Byzantian graves are the main remains of the appropriate periods. The Battle of Montgisard might have taken place at Gezer. Mamluks used the city, and in Ottoman times the village of Abu-Shushe was built on the slopes of the hill. The territory was baught by jews and a jewish Kvootza settled near by. During the Israeli war of Independnce the area was conquered by the Arab Legion but was recovered by the israeli Palmach.

Last modified on 7 January 2012, at 01:33