Courtesy Larry G. Herr and Douglas R. Clark

O’er the ramparts we watched. An elaborate defensive system was erected by ancient ‘Umayri’s residents on the city’s west side, its most vulnerable area. The photo is taken looking directly at the city’s western slope. Would-be attackers encountered a 13-foot-deep and 35-foot-across dry moat, at the end of which stood a 16-foot-high retaining wall. Beyond that lay a steep, 50-foot-long rampart made of beaten earth, which was topped by the city’s perimeter wall. These elaborate defenses made ‘Umayri the best-defended Holy Land site in Iron Age I (1200–1000 B.C.E.), yet they were not enough to spare it from a swift conquest in the early 12th century B.C.E. by an enemy that put the city immediately to the torch.