A Watch Tower from King Hezekiah period was exposed by IDF paratroopers

Soldiers and officers from the Paratroopers brigade and the Israel Antiquities Authority discovered the tower, which was apparently used to transmit messages through beacons.

Watch tower from the 9th century BCE in southern Israel
Photo courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority

An observation tower from the days of Hezekiah the King was recently exposed in archeological excavations made by soldiers of the Paratroopers brigade. This is part of the activities of the “IDF Defense for Nature – Officers taking responsibility for the environment” project, led by the Israel Antiquities Authority.
Archaeologists estimate that the tower, which was built in the 8th century BCE, was established at a high geographic point and used to transmit messages through beacons.
The tower allows observation of the Hebron Mountains, the Judean plain and the surrounding area of Ashkelon that was an important town of the Philistine enemy. It was built of exceptionally large stones, some of which reach 8 tons and rise to a height of about 2 meters
About 150 soldiers and officers from the Paratroopers Brigade participated in the excavation over a period of several months. The project was established in 2014 with the aim of encouraging officers and soldiers to be actively involved in preserving the natural, landscape and heritage values in their surroundings. Today, 60 centers of activity operate throughout the country.

Israeli soldiers in the excavation
Photo courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority

“The IDF, as a melting pot for the diverse Israeli population, is a unique meeting point for people from all parts of the country, through which environmental activities create a strong connection with them,” said Guy Salai, the project manager for Israel Antiquities Authority.

Written by Erez Speiser

Erez Speiser, born 1966 in Israel. lives in Rakefet in the Galilee. By education he is a mechanical engineer.For the last decade he holds a marketing position in a multinational metal cutting tools company. Erez is passionate about nature and the outdoors, enjoys hiking, mountain biking & surfing. Erez loves Israel and tries to promote hiking tourism in the country. He is the founder & manager of www.hike-israel.com