JERICHO: TEL ES-SULTAN

© 2000 by James E. Lancaster, Ph.D.

This aerial view is looking southeast at Tel Es-Sultan. The tel is in the northwest section of the town of Jericho. The numbers identify the locations of the following photos, which were taken at the tel late in the afternoon on November 13, 1999.
 
1. Jericho is said to be one of the oldest fortified towns in the world. This stone tower dates to about 8000 BC. Jerome Murphy-O'Connor says of the tower "this supreme achievment of Stone Age people is without parallel elsewhere in the world." (The Holy Land, Fourth Edition, Oxford University Press, 1998).
 
2. Just west of the tower is a trench. This view is of the south wall of the trench showing the remains of a mud brick wall. The sign above the trench says "Canaanite City Wall 2300-2000 BC."
 
3. This view is from the top of the tel looking south toward the recent Italian-Palestinian excavation of a Bronze Age gate that is partially visible at the bottom center of the photo. The cable cars are part of the new aerial tramway up to the Mt. of Temptation.

Lorenzo Nigro, one of the Italian academics in charge of the dig, was quoted as saying "At this site, which is surrounded by several walls, we couldn't manage to find the gateway."

"We finally found it, eight yards underground, and we are convinced it is the only one,'' he told reporters, adding that it was built between 1900 BC and 1550 BC [the sign on the top says 2300-2000 BC]. Nigro said the gateway, on the southeastern side of the site, could take at least three years to expose completely. He said it was built in a zone with difficult access and was protected by two towers with walls about 23 feet thick, and a base about 10 feet wide. (Reference: New York Times, November 28, 1998.)
 

4. This view is from the south side of the gate looking north.
 
5. This is a close-up view of the south side of the gate.
 
6. This view is from the north side of the
gate looking south. The mud brick wall is
on the east side of the gate (right side of
the gate in photos 4 and 5).
 
7. This view shows the west wall of the gate (left side of the gate in photos 4 and 5). Note what appears to be burned material at the right center of the photo and the layers of mud bricks at the lower left.
 
8. This is a close-up photo of an apparent destruction layer on the north and east side of the gate.
 
9. This close-up photo shows partially collapsed layers of mud bricks on the north and west side of the gate.