Sha’arayim, which means “two gates” in Hebrew is thought to be identified with an archeological site on the edge of the Ella Valley, at the western side of the Judean foot hills. It has caused excitement amongst scholars and laypersons alike because it has been dated, due to pottery finds and carbon dating, to the time of King David and because of an ostracon found with the oldest Hebrew writing ever discovered.This is critically important because of the ongoing debate about the nature of David’s kingdom, its size and his true importance during his reign.

Sha’arayim is also mentioned in the story of David and Goliath when the retreating Philistines are killed “on the road to Sha’arayim” (I Samuel 17:52).