THE LARGE “PATRICIAN HOUSE” excavated at Gezer shows
evidence of having been destroyed in a violent conflagration. Dating to the late 13th century, this wealthy house probably fell victim to Merneptah’s military campaign into southern Canaan. Although its walls and plan are poorly preserved, the expansive complex featured a pillared main room (D), a large industrial area, perhaps used to process grains and olives (A), three smaller side rooms (B, C, F) that were likely used for storage, and a cobbled courtyard (E). The building’s size and layout, together with recovered artifacts, suggest it was the residence of one of Gezer’s wealthier families. The dig volunteers visible in green and pink shirts provide a sense of the building’s scale.