Nachson Sneh, Kibbutz Gat

A curving casemate wall gives an oval shape to the Aqrav fortress. In Solomon’s day, casemate walls were extensively used as fortifications. Casemate walls consist of two parallel walls interrupted at intervals by transverse walls that subdivide the area into rooms called casemates. One of those rooms is clearly seen in the right foreground of the photo. Casemate rooms could be used as armories, storerooms or lodgings, or they could be filled with rubble to strengthen the fortifications at the time of an attack.

Preserved to a height of over six feet, this casemate wall in the eastern side of the fortress surrounded a central unroofed courtyard. All of the Central Negev fortresses were protected by similar casemate walls.