Archaeologists Unearth Ancient City Nestled Below an Ancient City

The biblical city of Gezer harbors even older mysteries.

By Kendra Pierre-Louis on November 19, 2013 11:39 AM EST

Ian W Scott

Ian W Scott

In a curious twist, archaeologists have discovered ancient city... under an ancient city.

The ancient city of Gezer, originally a Canaanite city, was once a thriving metropolis thanks to its location on the Way of the Sea of the Via Maria. The Via Maris was a coastal byway that serviced traders, travelers, and warriors for thousands of years connecting Egypt, Syria, Anatolia and Mesopotamia. Though desolate now, the city is a constant thread throughout biblical history - King Solomon is said to have been given the land as a wedding present by his Egyptian father-in-law.

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Recent archaeological excavations conducted this summer by Steven Ortiz, a biblical scholar at the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and his colleague Samuel Wolff, of the Israel Antiquities Authority, suggest that the city had a previous incarnation. The two have uncovered trace evidence, including a scarab beetle amulet from King Amenhotep III, the grandfather of King Tut, and pottery belonging to the Philistines, dating back to centuries before King Solomon. The evidence suggests that a city existed in the same location prior to Gezer.

It's not the first ancient city to be found buried under the remains of a newer city. This October the ancient city of Idu was found beneath a mound in the Kurdistan region of Northern Iraq, while, perhaps most famously, the modern city of Mexico City is built atop of the remains of the Aztec city of Teotihuacán.

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