Chambered gatehouses in the Iron II southern Levant: Their architecture and function

Daniel A. Frese

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Chambered gatehouses were monumental structures that played a central role in the city gate complex - the public forum - of towns in the Iron II southern Levant. The pier-and-chamber floor plan of such gatehouses was ubiquitous in the region for over four centuries and is well known to researchers, but the specific purpose of this architectural plan has received little scholarly attention. Most commonly, the pier-and-chamber design is thought to be military in nature, either adding further defensive barriers to the city's main entrance or creating space for the guards at the gate. Recently, the chambers have also been described as horse-hitching stations for war chariots. In this paper, I critique these suggestions and propose my own explanation for the chambered gatehouse's structure, based on the remains of excavated gatehouses and parallels in ancient near eastern architecture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-92
Number of pages18
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Council for British Research in the Levant.


  • Architecture
  • Chambered
  • Gate
  • Gatehouse
  • Iron II
  • Piers
  • Southern levant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • History
  • Archaeology


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