The site known as "Temple Gate" was revealed in a historic archaeological dig in Tel Lachish, opening a window into life during the First Temple period. The site is described in the second book of Kings and confirms testimonies regarding King Hezekiah, credited for forbidding idol worship. The remains of a smashed altar used for idol worship was found at the site.
The dig was conducted between January and March by Israel Antiquities Authority, an initiative of the Jerusalem and Heritage Ministry and in cooperation with the Nature and Parks Authority. The northern part was discovered decades ago by a British delegation and a delegation from the University of Tel Aviv. The current excavation, however, uncovered the entire gate, the largest known in Israel from the First Temple Period.
Saar Ganor, director of the dig from Israel’s Antiquities Authority explained that “the size [of the gate] matches our historical knowledge and archaeological knowledge, according to which Lachish was a central city - the second most important after Jerusalem. According to biblical descriptions, the gate of a city was where everything happened. The elders of the city, the judges, governors, kings, and bureaucrats – all of them sat on the benches at the city gates. The benches were found in our dig.”
Minister of Culture Miri Regev (Likud) explained that this discovery joins the long line of discoveries that give us a glimpse into our rich past.
Ze’ev Elkin, Minister of Jerusalem Affairs and Minister of Environmental Protection (Likud), explained that this excavation is another example of how stories from the Tanach (Bible) are found to have left historical and archaeological records.