Understanding the Four-Chambered Gate

Sometime after Pharaoh Shishak’s destruction of Dor in 925 B.C.E.—probably in the next century—a new, monumental gate was built on the eastern side of the city. Standing almost 70 feet wide and nearly as deep, with 6-foot-thick walls, the gate consisted of two chambers on each side of the central passageway. These chambers were the lowest story of two towers. The plan of this gate is identical to Megiddo’s stratum-IVA gate, built by King Ahab of Israel (874–853 B.C.E.), so it was probably also built by Ahab’s architects.

All that remains of this four-chambered gate, as it is called, are its base of limestone blocks and debris from its former mudbrick superstructure. Archaeologists faced a difficult task in trying to distinguish the components of this gate from earlier and later structures, below and above the four-chambered gate. A two-chambered gate from the Assyrian occupation (end of the eighth century B.C.E.) and other gates lie above, and an earlier, tenth-century B.C.E. wall lies below. The detail plan shows the superimposition of the two-chambered gate on top of the four-chambered gate, as well as a stone-paved road that linked the inner, four-chambered gate with an outer gate to the northeast.

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