The first tower is apparently the corner of a tower gate, preserved
from the end of the First Temple period. This period is also known as the Israelite
Period, hence the name of the tower. The tower reaches an impressive height of 8
meters and the walls are 4 meters wide. The tower is built of large, sturdy rocks,
and the cornerstones are carved and planed. The remnants are exceptionally preserved
and well built, and they remain an impressive, unique architectural monument. הודות
למידת השתמרותו וטיב הבניה המגדל הוא מונימנט ארכיטקטוני מרשים ביותר ויחיד מסוגו.
It may be that this tower protected the city during the war waged
by Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, in 586 BC. During the excavations, remains of
ash and soot, testimony to the fire that raged here, perhaps the remnants of one
of the Babylonian siege machines that came too close to the ramparts and was destroyed
by a flaming torch thrown by one of the defenders . . or perhaps vestiges of the
destruction caused by the Babylonians, as is described in the Book of Kings: “And
he burnt the house of the LORD, and the king's house, and all the houses of Jerusalem,
and every great man's house burnt he with fire. And all the army of the Chaldees,
that were with the captain of the guard, brake down the walls of Jerusalem round
about.” (2 Kings 25: 9-10).
Four arrowheads were found in the layer of ash. Of these, three are flat-headed
and made of iron of the type used in the Judean army. The fourth is a faceted, bronze
arrowhead, typical of the type used by foreign armies. All bear additional testimony
to the battle that raged here. Despite its size, the tower was not up to the task
for which it was created, and was able to delay the Babylonians for a mere six months.