Avraham Biran and Zev Radovan/© Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion

Did a king or a cult statue sit on this platform within the Israelite gate at Dan? Round, carved, socketed bases suggest that posts were inserted in the holes to support a canopy over the throne. Three of these round socketed bases can be seen in the picture—two to the left of the platform and one on the right at the wall. A presumed fourth base has disappeared. Behind the hewn limestone structure a bench protrudes from the wall and continues five meters (16.25 feet) to the right until it meets the outer city wall. Perhaps it was of such a seat that Samuel spoke when he said, “Then the king arose and sat in the gate” (2 Samuel 19:9).