“And all of Shlomo’s garrison towns, chariot towns, and cavalry towns—everything that Shlomo set his heart on building in Yerushalayim and in the Lebanon, and throughout the territory that he ruled.” (1 Kings 9:19)
What are likely to be Solomon’s gates, as described in the Bible, have been uncovered at the Biblical Tamar Park in southern Israel. Paul Lagno, Bible student and participant in a five-day dig at the Biblical Tamar Park, said that the discovery gives evidence to the Biblical account of Judean control over Tamar.
“The Bible says that Solomon built a fortress in the desert. The archeologists are sure that they have found all the hallmarks of the gate of Solomon – all the hallmarks of the fortified city. They believe this was a fortress built by Solomon,” Lagno told Breaking Israel News.
“The archeological evidence is consistent with 1 Kings 9:19, where it says Solomon built Tamar in the wilderness,” he explained. “In addition, the pagan altars destroyed by King Josiah as described in 1 Kings 13:3 were also found, right outside of the gates.”
The altar broke apart and its ashes were spilled—the very portent that the man of Hashem had announced at Hashem’s command. I Kings 13:3
Dr. Tali Erickson-Gini, an excavator and archaeologist employed by the Israel Antiquities Authority, maintained that the excavation uncovered the earliest fortifications at the Biblical Tamar Park archeological site, likely dating back to the First Temple Period. She, along with Dr. James Tabor and Dr. Yoram Haimi, led a five-day dig at the park, successfully uncovering the city gates from the First Temple Period.
The gates were partially uncovered in 1995 by Dr. Rudolph Cohen and Dr. Yigal Israel, but because they could not finish excavations, they filled the site with sand in order to protect the gates for the future. It is likely that this is the first time that archeologists have reached the bottom of the gates, called the “deposition line.”
“We are working on very ancient parts of the site, which includes a four-chambered gate,” Erickson-Gini said. “We found some deposition in what we believe to be the street level next to the gate. Hopefully we will be able to find some new evidence that will help us to understand the settlement process and the construction here at the site in the different time periods that these things took place.”
The Biblical Tamar Park is one of the oldest archeological sites in southern Israel and the only site in the area to showcase the entire archeological history of from the Abraham period (2000-1300 BCE) to today. Located along the Spice Route, the area had tremendous importance to world trade and still remains a noteworthy masterpiece of Jewish heritage in the land of Israel.
The curator of the Biblical Tamar Park is the Christian Blossoming Rose organization, founded by Dr. DeWayne Coxon in 1983. Paul Lagno has worked as a Bible student with Blossoming Rose since 2010, focusing on the Tabernacle Pavilion exhibit.
With the mission of restoring the Holy Land as per the Christian Biblical mandate to bless Israel, Blossoming Rose has poured millions of dollars of donations into the Biblical Tamar Park in the last 30 years, providing security and beautification. It has also brought volunteers from all over the world to the site, who have planted thousands of trees behind the park.
“We are very grateful for all the efforts Dr. Coxon and his son Rob, and the many volunteers who come through here that have done so much for the site over the years. It’s a totally unique experience to have volunteers coming from abroad to take care of an archeological site of this importance,” said Dr. Erickson-Gini.
Although the archeologists in Israel are mostly secular, said Lagno, “When they found these important findings at this site, they were the ones that named it Biblical Tamar because of the emphasis that they found from the Bible passages about this park.”
The park is also becoming more popular with the Israeli public and may become a national park in the future. “The secret about this park is getting out and busloads of Israelis are coming to visit,” Lagno told Breaking Israel News.
According to Lagno, the findings at Biblical Tamar Park shed light on the Jewish religion as well as the foundation for Christian beliefs. “Everybody associated with Blossoming Rose believes that God is blessing Israel, the Jews, and the nations of Israel, and now is the time to favor Israel, historically and prophetically,” he stated.