Prof. Ronny Reich on the Jerusalem’s Canaanite Wall

In a previous post, I wrote about the massive Canaanite wall discovered in Jerusalem. According to Prof. Ronny Reich, the archaeologist conducting the excavation, the wall was dated to 3,700 B.C. has published an article which provides additional information on the massive Canaanite wall dating to the time of the patriarchs. The following is an excerpt from the article:

No fortifications of this size have ever before been discovered from the time of the First Temple, considered the zenith of Jerusalem’s development in the biblical period.
The Canaanite walls the archaeologists discovered are about two meters apart, rise to a height of some eight meters in some places and are made of gigantic stones, three to four meters thick. About 24 meters have been exposed, but excavators say this is only one-third of their original length.
Excavation of the walls has been underway for about a year by the Israel Antiquities Authority, funded by Elad, the association that runs the nearby City of David antiquities site.
The walls have been dated by pottery to the period archaeologists call the Middle Bronze Age, better known as the “Period of the Patriarchs.” At that time, Jerusalem was a kind of city-state – a fortress surrounded by farming plots. The massive nature of the fortifications has convinced archaeologists that the city was apparently larger and stronger than they had previously believed.
“To move such large stones, you need know-how and you need power,” Reich says, “because a group of people doing the building needs a society to support them economically and a ruler to tell one group to work and the other group to support them.”

Claude Mariottini
Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary

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2 Responses to Prof. Ronny Reich on the Jerusalem’s Canaanite Wall

  1. Another aspect of the find is the fact that they were parallel walls. City walls from the late Cananite Period (Jericho, Shilo, Tyre) were "double walls" (Read the story of the spys sent by Joshua and their meeting with Rachav.) Although I have yet to find verification, this sounds very similar.BTW – The walls of Cananite Shilo were at least ten to twelve meters high, based upon the trenches dug by the Danes in the early 1900's.


  2. Yoel,

    Thank you for this very important information. Have you seen the video showing the Canaanite wall? It was very impressive.


    Claude Mariottini


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