Ancient City Older Than Archaeologists Thought

Monday, 18 Nov 2013 06:59 PM

By Amy Woods

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Remnants of a 14th century Canaanite city have been identified by archaeologists who found them beneath another city's ruins, LiveScience reported Monday.

Among the treasures unearthed in Israel's Gezer are an Egyptian amulet depicting King Amenhotep III — King Tut's grandfather — and several shards of Philistine pottery from the Late Bronze Age.

The city was on a major trading route between Asia and Africa, and the archaeological dig suggests the crossroads was active a lot longer than believed. During 10 years of excavations, only artifacts from the 10th through eighth centuries B.C. were discovered.

Steven Ortiz of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, co-directed the excavation. Ortiz said the city fell into the hands of not only the Canaanites but also the Assyrians, the Egyptians, and King Solomon.

"It's always changed hands throughout history," said Ortiz, who worked with Samuel Wolff, of the Israel Antiquities Authority.

Andrew Vaughn, of the American Schools of Oriental Research, said the excavations led by Ortiz support research by scholars who thought Gezer thrived longer than could be proven.

"It's not surprising that a city that was of importance in the biblical kingdoms of Israel and Judah would have an older history and would have played an important political and military role prior to that time," Vaughn said. "If you didn't control Gezer, you didn't control the east-west trade route."

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