Publish date 22-02-2021

by Agnese Picco

The city of Gezer is often mentioned in the Bible, in the book of Joshua, in connection with the conquest of the land of Canaan: «Then Oram, king of Gezer, went to the aid of Lachish. Joshua beat him and his people, leaving him no survivor "(Joshua 10:33). Also according to the book of Joshua, the territory subsequently passed under the control of the tribe of Joseph (Joshua 16,3), but the Canaanites continued to live in the city. Gezer is still mentioned in the first book of kings (1 Kings 9,15-19) when the Egyptian pharaoh set her on fire and then assigned her as a dowry to her daughter, who would marry Solomon.

The city has also been the subject of modern archaeological investigations and the settlement phases are well known. It was founded in the Ancient Bronze Age (2950 - 2650 BC) and developed throughout the period. During the excavations, some letters were found, written in cuneiform characters on clay tablets, which allowed researchers to reconstruct the origin of the populations who inhabited the area. In fact, the names mentioned can be traced back to Western Semitic usage, and therefore to the Canaanites, according to the biblical nomenclature.

At a certain point, however, between the twelfth and tenth centuries. BC, a change has occurred. Archaeological remains show that a new culture has grafted onto the old one: Israelite populations arrive in the region. For archaeologists, the Iron Age begins.

The city of Gezer can also boast a record: it was the first biblical city to be identified thanks to an inscription found during excavations. It was 1873 when the French scholar Clermont-Ganneau found a border stone with the inscription, in Hebrew: Gezer border. In all, 13 border stones were found in the city, the most recent of which in 2012. The presence of these stones, placed to mark the city limits, reveals the will of the Israelite population to maintain their customs, respecting Jewish law. . The peculiarity of these stones is their bilingualism. In fact, they bear the inscription "Gezer region" in Hebrew and Greek.


Agnese Picco
NP december 2020

This website uses cookies. By using our website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Cookie Policy. Click here for more info