Zev Radovan

The city gate. The photo shows, from the inside, one side of the base of Megiddo’s main entryway during the Iron Age (the Israelite period).

Where once Megiddo’s gate gave access into the city, today it provides entry into one of the most vexing archaeological debates concerning the site: How old is the six-chambered gate? The Oriental Institute excavators, as well as Israeli archaeologist Yigael Yadin, attributed it to King Solomon (tenth century B.C.E.). Yadin pointed to similar six-chambered gates at Hazor and Gezer and noted that the Bible (1 Kings 9:15) mentions together Solomon’s building activities at Hazor, Gezer and Megiddo. Israel Finkelstein and David Ussishkin, however, disagree: They believe Solomon’s Megiddo had a simple two-chambered gate; they assign the six-chambered gate to the period of the divided monarchy following Solomon’s death (ninth-eighth centuries B.C.E.).