Located just off the main road running between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem in the famous Aijalon Valley, the ancient site of Tel Gezer guards the junction of the Via Maris with the Aijalon Valley. The site has a rich history that begins with the Canaanites right up to the modern era. Gezer is a site of great Biblical significance that is associated with both Joshua (Joshua 10) and King Solomon (I Kings 10:15-16). It is also mentioned in several extra-Biblical texts associated with Thutmosis III and IV, Merneptah, Sheshonq and Tiglath-Pileser III.
Excavations include the Early Middle Bronze Age water system. The purpose is to understand the date of this monumental water system along with its function and source for water. To clarify these issues, excavations have expanded to include the Canaanite gate and its associated storerooms. To date, evidence of earlier structures under these structures suggest and very early date for the water system and the fortifications of the city. Work will continue in these areas to clarify their origin.
The Tel Gezer Water System Project is sponsored by New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, the Israel Parks Authority and the Israel Antiquities Authority.
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Daniel A. Warner is Associate Professor of Old Testament & Archaeology at New Orleans Baptist Seminary.
Eli Yannai is an archaeologist in the Excavations, Surveys & Research Department of the Israel Antiquities Authority.
Tsvika Tsuk is chief archaeologist of the Israel Nature and Parks Authority.