One of the most striking findings at Gamla was the immense number of weapons and military objects recovered (see below). The vast majority were found along the city wall, inside and outside. Although only about five percent of the built-up area of the city has been excavated, the distribution of the weapons in the city clearly shows that most of the fighting took place within a c. 50-meter wide band along the wall.

This wall was one of the surprises of the excavation. Josephus’ claim that he built the city wall (¢nast»son (Life 37), teic…zwn (War 4,1,2, §9)), was understood to mean that he strengthened and reinforced an existing wall, because the impression gained from his description was that of a fortified city. The archaeological picture is quite different, however. The wall visible today is, in fact, a patchwork of pre-existing buildings at the eastern extremity of the city, with evidence of hasty construction closing the gaps between them. When viewed on a plan the wall is anything but a straight line: it bulges, zigzags, projects and retracts. Thus, the fortification by Josephus included closing gaps between existing buildings and the thickening of existing building walls facing east by the construction of a second wall behind. It also included the filling-in with stones of rooms along the course of the wall, such as the ‘study room’ next to the synagogue hall and rooms in areas M and T. Buildings — perhaps weak or old ones — were dismantled to construct the wall over them. The round tower, at the highest point of the wall, was apparently built at an earlier period; the wall abuts it and is not joined to it. At all points along its length, the wall is distinguished by its hasty, simple, field stone construction from the pre-existing buildings of higher quality. It should be added however, that about midway along the wall a pair of nicely constructed towers was discovered, flanking a narrow passage. At present it is unclear if this was an ‘official’ entry into the city before the war, or whether it was built as part of the fortifications in anticipation of the Roman siege. In any case, the towers were constructed over an earlier building, probably of the Hasmonean period. At the bottom of the wall yet another pair of square buildings, 8 m. apart, may be towers, but they could equally be pre-existing buildings incorporated in the wall. The gap between these towers may be an opening, termed by Gutmann the ‘water gate’, with reference to what appears to be a small reservoir just below this spot, outside the wall. However, recent (19th-20th-century) activity here in the form of a shepherd’s hut and corral, makes it near impossible to assess the evidence. Enigmatically, relatively few arrowheads and ballista balls were found along the lower parts of the wall, suggesting that the Romans concentrating their siege efforts at the top half of the wall, which was more easily accessible to them.