Tell es-Safi/Gath is a multi-period site located on the border between the Judean foothills (Shephelah) and the
southern coastal plain in central Israel, which has been subject to survey and excavations over the last two decades.
Excavations by Bliss and Macalister in 1899 exposed a fortification system which was dated to the “Jewish
period”. In this paper, we present updated data on these fortifications which have led to fresh insights. In two
separate excavation areas, we excavated portions of the fortification system that surrounded the site which can now
be dated to the EB III of the southern Levant. The EB fortification system influenced the location of later fortifications
at the site. The nature of the construction techniques of these fortifications and the character of the
settlement which they surrounded suggest that Tell es-Safi/Gath was a major regional urban centre during
the EB III and was governed by a centralised administrative hierarchy.