Drawing by Andrew Herscher

The artist’s rendition, with its exaggerated, “fish-eye” angles, depicts how Ashkelon’s northern gate might have appeared in the 16th century B.C. A visitor, perhaps a seafaring trader from Phoenicia, might well have paused at the Sanctuary of the Calf at the base of the slope to present an offering of thanks for a safe journey and then made his way up the slope to the impressive twin-towered gate. The sanctuary was not directly below the gate but below and to the right of it–perhaps because the path up the slope was at an angle rather than head-on to the gate, thus making the climb easier.