Was a “gate shrine” built at the level iii inner city gate of Lachish? A response to Ganor and Kreimerman

David Ussishkin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The city gate of Level III at biblical Lachish dates to the Iron Age IIB period and was destroyed in the Assyrian conquest in 701 B.C.E. In 2015-2016, Saar Ganor and Igor Kreimerman excavated the southern wing of the inner gate. In a recent issue of this journal, Ganor and Kreimerman (2019) suggested that the innermost, southern chamber of the gatehouse was a “gate shrine,” that the “gate shrine” was desecrated during the reform of Hezekiah, that it was turned into a symbolic toilet, and then sealed. The present paper has four aims. First, it presents an integral picture of the inner gatehouse based on all the excavations which took place there. Second, it argues that there was no gate shrine in the gatehouse. Third, it argues that the assumed gate shrine was not desecrated during the time of Hezekiah’s reform. Fourth, it shows that the innermost, southern chamber contained an installation of secular nature that parallels that in the innermost northern side of the gatehouse.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-170
Number of pages18
JournalBulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 2021


  • Gate shrine
  • Hezekiah’s reform
  • Horned altar
  • Iron Age city gate
  • Lachish


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