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Gezer
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Gezer

Gezer was a town in ancient Israel.

Scholars believe that Gezer is identical with Tel Gezer(Tell el-Jezer or Abu Shusheh), about midway on the route between Jerusalem and Jaffa. Gezer was located on the northern border of the Shephelah, approximately twenty miles west of Jerusalem. It was strategically situated at the junction of the International Coastal Highway and the highway connecting it with Jerusalem through the valley of Ajalon. The view from Gezer encompassed the whole Coastal Plain below it, making it a strategic military center.

It is mentioned in connection with the conquest of the land under the leadership of Joshua. (Josh. 10:33; 12:12) The town was appointed to the Levites.

It is mentioned as a place under Philistine power, as David is said to have broken their rulership "from Geba to as far as to Gezer". It was the last point to which he pursued the Philistines (2 Sam. 5:25; 1 Chr. 14:16) after the battle of Baal-perazim. Later the Pharaoh of Egypt conquered it and gave it as a dowry to Solomon's wife.

Gezer is mentioned in Egyptian records, such as the writings of Thutmose III as well as the letters of Amarna; and Pharaoh Merneptah boasted that he "seized Gezer". Archaeological digging in the place of Gezer has been going on since the early 1900's, and it has become one of the most excavated sites in Palestine.

One of the most interesting findings is the so-called Gezer-calendar. This is a plaqe containing a text appearing to be either a schoolboy's memory exercises, or something designated for the collection of taxes from farmers. Another possibility is that the text was a popular folk song, or child's song, listing the months of the year according to the agricultural seasons. It has proved to be of value by informing modern researchers of ancient Middle Eastern script and language, as well as the agricultural seasons.