Gezer (Hebrew גזר ), later Gazara, was a city in ancient Israel. Today, it is mainly with the Tell Gezer (also: Tell el- yetzer ) identified, which is located about halfway between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

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History of Research

Tell Gezer was excavated in 1871 by French archaeologist Charles Clermont- Ganneau. It was followed by further excavations in the years 1902-1907 by Robert Macalister on behalf of the Palestine Exploration Fund. Even after that Gezer was the target of intensive excavations, so in 1934 by Alan Rowe, 1964 by G. Ernest Wright, and by William G. Dever, Yigael Yadin and by the Andrews University. Since 2006 the excavations of Steve Ortiz from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (Fort Worth, USA) and Sam Wolff be continued (Israel Antiquities Authority ).


First written evidence of the existence of Gezer dated to the time of the Egyptian king Thutmose III. ( 15th century BC). The reliefs of the temple of Amun- Re at Karnak show prisoners from Gezer from the Syrian campaign of 1468 BC An inscription from the grave temple of Tuthmosis IV. (Approx. 1410 - 1402nd ) mentioned prisoners ( Kharu ) from a city that is usually reconstructed as Gezer. From the Amarna letters can be concluded that Gezer was involved in the conflicts of the standing under Egyptian suzerainty city-states of Palestine. There have been preserved over a dozen letters from Gezer to the Egyptian king, so that can also be the name of the governor reconstruct in Gezer: Milkilu, Addu - Dabi and Japahu. They report from the constant oppression by the Apiru without apparently from the Egyptian side had been corrected. In Gezer an important scribe school seems to have passed. A fragment of the Epic of Gilgamesh, which was found at the beginning of the 50s by a shepherd from Kibbutz Megiddo on the ramp of the tailings pile of Sector AA, derived by analysis of Y. Goren, inter alia, probably from Gezer. Juan- Pablo Vita takes on the basis of palaeography studies that a writer from Gezer wrote letters also to the allied rulers of Ginti - kirmil, Gath, and Ashdod. Also letters from Tagi (EA 266) and Jahtiru (EA 296 ) he has, for this writer. But the latter also used other writers.

Among the Ramessides the rule of Egypt was established over the area again. The victory stele of Merneptah reports that Gezer was conquered by the Egyptians. An ivory Fund at Tell Gezer, on which the name of Merneptah was found in a cartridge, supports this report.

In the book of Joshua (Joshua 10:33 ), a king of Gezer named Horam is mentioned, which is the city of Lachish, the bin by the Israelites under Joshua Now besieged, comes to the rescue, but it killed. As a result, Gezer was conquered by the Israelites (Josh. 12:12 ), the Canaanite population of the village enslaved ( Jos 16:10). The city had strategic importance due to its location on the border with the Philistines. It was added to the tribal territory of Ephraim, but then the Levitical family of Kohath as a sanctuary awarded (Joshua 21:21 ).

According to the Bible (2 Sam 5:25) King David smote the Philistines from Gibeon even to Gezer after. Apparently, there was the place in the sequence but in Egyptian possession, because the Pharaoh (probably Siamun ) surrendered the city on the occasion of the marriage of his daughter to King Solomon as a dowry.

During the Makkabäerkriege the town changed, now called Gazara, several owners. On a late antique diocese the titular Gazera the Roman Catholic Church is declining. As a result, the site was abandoned and remained uninhabited until the modern era. Today is adjacent to the excavation site of a small settlement.


  • Milkilu, Amarna Period (EA 267-271 )
  • Balu - Danu, Amarna Period (EA 293-294 )
  • Japahu, Amarna Period (EA 297-300 )
  • Horam the time of Joshua

Structure of the settlement

The monumental city gate is similar to the goal of Hazor.


In Gezer ten megaliths, and nine border stones were found. One of the stones bore the inscription boundary of Gezer, so that identification of Tell Gezer with the city of Gezer confirmed. It is dated to the 1st millennium BC.

Gezer calendar

In the excavation of the mound known as the Gezer calendar was found, which is dated to the 10th century BC. He is one of the earliest texts in the Hebrew linguistic fields Maybe it is a calendar for the determination of seasonal agricultural activities. It is also conceivable that there is a kind of folk song or to student records.