The Six-Chambered Israelite Gate at Megiddo
Shortly after walking through the Canaanite gate, the visitor takes a short flight of steps up to visit the Israelite gate. Interestingly, the Israelites had positioned their gate in the same northernly direction as the Canaanites before them, but was larger and far more impressive. This six-chambered gate (the Canaanite Gate had only 4 chambers) is the object of one of the most important scholarly debates surrounding the biblical record or ’biblical archaeology’. According to 1 Kings 9:15, Solomon is to be credited for having built the wall of ’Jerusalem, and Hazor, Megiddo and Gezer.’ Though the text does not specifically mentioned ’the gates’ of these cities, it seems quite implicit that Solomon is to be credited with the building of the defenses located in these cities. Indeed, Yigael Yadin had found a similar six-chambered gate at Hazor, which he dated to the time of Solomon based on pottery samples, and through reinterpretation of early excavation records from Gezer, also deemed that it’s city gate too dated to the period of Solomon. However, Megiddo’s main excavator, Israel Finkelstein of Tel Aviv University, has long adhered to a later dating of the Megiddo gate to around a century after Solomon, based on his interpretation of pottery chronology.