The Iron Age II city gates in Palestine: The textual and archaeological evidence
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This dissertation focuses on three tasks: (1) to select representative excavations of Iron Age II Palestinian city gates in order to undertake an analysis of the archaeological remains, (2) to evaluate selected city gate architectural structures, typologies, installations, and artifacts in order to establish the city gate functions; and (3) to analyze archaeological and textual evidence that will further assist in identifying city gate functions and activities. Chapter 1 establishes the purpose of the study, outlines the research methodologies, and introduces the reader to the state of the research of the city gate architecture in Palestine. It reviews the history of various dimensions of research (cultic, judicial and legal, commercial and market, administrative and official, political and social, symbolic, and other miscellaneous uses) of Iron Age II city gates in Palestine, and describes the semantic meaning of the city gates in the ancient Near East and ancient Israel. Chapter 2 focuses on the Iron Age II city gate activities and their implications in selected textual evidences, both biblical and extra-biblical, emphasizing military and various civic characters of types of city gates from the Iron Age II period in Palestine. Biblical evidence is the primary data used to investigate the functional objectives of the Iron Age II city gates. Parallel ANE extra-biblical evidence, including West Semitic texts, Ugaritic texts, Akkadian and Sumerian texts, Neo-Assyrian texts, Old Babylonian legal documents, the Amarna Letters, the Mari texts, and the Nuzi texts provide supplementary information about the city gate activities. Chapter 3 presents an overview of architectural remains from selected city gates excavated at Tel Chinneret, Tel Megiddo, Tel Belt Mirsim, Tel en-Nas[dotbelow]beh, Tel el-Far'ah (N), Tel Dor, Tel Ashdod, Tel Dan, Tel Beersheba. 'En H[dotbelow]as[dotbelow]eva, Tel Bethsaida, Tall al-Kleiefeih, Khirbat al-Mydaybi', Tel Batash, Tel Hazor, Tel Gezer, Tel Lachish, Tel 'Ira, Khirbat al-Mudayna, and Tall Jawa with comparative city gates in ANE, including Zinçirli, Carchemish, Malatya, Karatepe. Til Barsib, Ta'yinat, and Qarqur, including the typology and gates with open plazas. Chapter 4 investigates the physical remains of the city gates, including architectural features, installations, and artifacts. Special attention is paid to the installations and the artifacts excavated from the city gate complexes, including volute capitals, high places, thresholds, drain channels, benches or shelves, basins or vats, monumental stelae, standing stones, stone altars, reliefs, orthostats, sculptures, silos or pits, oil presses, arrowheads, scales or weights, favissae , incense stands, ovens, pottery vessels, clay or bronze figurines, inscriptions, seals, and metal or stone objects. Chapter 5 provides a synthesized interpretation of the data presented in this study, an analysis of each city gate complex, and the reconstruction of some of the activities associated with architectural and artificial remains found in situ at the gate area. Archaeological, biblical, and extra-biblical evidence for the presentation of military, legal and judicial, cultic, administrative and economic, monumental, symbolic, ideological, and other social or public uses are discussed in this chapter. Chapter 6 concludes the work by providing a synopsis of the functions of the city gates in the gate complexes during the Iron Age II.