Carl Andrews, Leon Levy Expedition

The “streets” of Ashkelon are mentioned in David’s lament over the deaths of King Saul and his son Jonathan (2 Samuel 1:20). The Hebrew word hûssoµt, however, does not mean “streets” but “bazaars”; David warns the Israelites not to proclaim the news of the deaths of Saul and Jonathan in the famous bazaars of Israel’s enemy, lest Philistine women rejoice at Israel’s loss of its royalty.

The photo looks west toward the sea, along Ashkelon’s marketplace. The main street runs toward the sea just to the right of the large hole (the 1921 British excavation probe) in the foreground; to the left of the street is the Administrative Center (no longer visible because the excavators have dug below it), and to the right are the shops. Beyond the shops, just past the small hole at right center, is the Plaza—an open square. To the left of the far end of the Plaza is the Counting House; some of its rooms are visible in the photo. In the Counting House excavators found an ostracon (an inscribed potsherd) that was used as a receipt for a shipment of grain.