Archaeologists Excavate Massive Ancient Gateway in Jordan

A team of archaeologists and excavators are uncovering a site that could be among the largest ancient Bronze Age cities of the Near East. Current efforts are focusing on a massive, newly discovered Middle Bronze II Period (1800 – 1540 BCE) city gate complex and associated structures, part of a nearly impenetrable defensive system that ringed and protected a city that the excavators suggest may have commanded and controlled a group of other nearby ancient settlements.

The city gate was revealed during excavations conducted during January of 2012 under the direction of Dr. Steven Collins of Trinity Southwest University and Yazeed Eylayyan of the Department of Antiquities, Jordan. It was one of a number of major architectural features associated with a massive defensive fortification system built to protect the city.

The fortifications boast a 4m-thick city wall which was built on a foundation of large stones up to 5m high and topped by a mudbrick superstructure. The entire construction was reinforced by an earthen/mudbrick rampart/glacis system that sloped outward and downward about 35 to 38 degrees from the city perimeter wall. Based on current excavated evidence and analysis, the newly discovered gateway constitutes the main, monumental gateway leading into the city through these fortifications.

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