Beersheba: four chambered gate

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The gate of Tell es-Seba` levels V-II was four chambered. This means that six projecting piers (three on each side - like the three from the left in this picture) could be joined by doors, forming a series of three obstacles to overcome. It also formed four rooms (possibly with four more above). These rooms were used by the city administration and justice systems, as well as by the guards.

Outside the gate is a traditional place to hold markets. Thus power, justice and the economy were could all be conceptually focused at the "gate".

In stratum III seats were constructed round the sides of one of the chambers. These were removed in stratum II, but no other changes were noted, and the strata II-III gate was constructed on the foundations of the strata IV-V one.


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Unless marked otherwise Bible quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version © 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America.