Gezer (gēˈzər) [key], ancient city of Canaan, on the coastal plain of Sharon, NW of Jerusalem. Its position guarding the road from Jerusalem to Jaffa has always given it importance, e.g., in the wars of Joshua, David, the Maccabees, and in the Crusades. Excavations there (1902–8, 1929, 1934) have made it possible to trace the history of Gezer from Chalcolithic times. It was an Egyptian outpost c.1900 B.C. Among the important findings were evidence of troglodyte dwellings, a Middle Bronze Age water tunnel, stone monoliths, and an agricultural calendar of the late 10th cent. B.C. In 1945 a communal settlement of the same name was founded there. References to it in the Bible are numerous. It is also spelled Gazer. See Gob.
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