Qeiyafa Expedition, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

The four-chambered city gate of Qeiyafa (two rooms on each side of the gateway) is built of carefully shaped rectangular stones called ashlars (smaller, Hellenistic stones block the earlier doorways on the right). This construction is characteristic of royal construction in the Iron Age. This example of ashlar construction is one of the earliest in all of ancient Israel. Its presence emphasizes the importance of the ancient city. Not far from this gate (in the building at left), excavators discovered an important but still-mysterious ostracon that dates to the early Iron Age.