Israeli archaeologists have discovered an ancient Canaanite-Egyptian fortress in southern Israel, dated back to about 3,200 years ago, the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) said Sunday.
The 18-meter-long square fortress was discovered near today's city of Kiryat Gat.
During that period, the Canaanites, Israelis and Philistines fought each other, as ancient Israel was ruled by the Egyptians.
The fortress was built by the Canaanites under Egyptian guidance, to defend against the Philistines who settled in the southern coastal plain area and built large cities there.
Thus, it served as a border fortress between the Canaanite kingdom of Lachish, which was ruled by the Egyptians, and the Philistine Gath kingdom at the west.
The fortress was established in a strategic location, observing a main road that connected the area to the coastal plain.
It had a well-preserved huge entrance threshold, hewn from a single stone weighing about three tonnes.
There was also a courtyard paved with stone slabs, as well as pillars in the center, with rooms arranged on the sides.
Hundreds of pottery vessels, some intact, were exposed in the rooms, including a bowl and cup for worship, and many other bowls, some are of Egyptian style.
In the middle of the 12th century BC, the Egyptians left the region, leading to tremendous destruction of the unprotected Canaanite cities by the Philistines.