Eastern walled cities had carefully guarded gates that were closed at night and not reopened until sunrise. When a person had to be admitted or was allowed to exit during this period, a tiny door fitted within the main gate was opened. This secondary door was called the “needle’s eye”.
Camels were usually laden with large bags balanced on either side of its back, sometimes extending three to four feet. Passing through the “eye of the needle” required the tedious unloading of supplies. The animal would then have to stoop down and squeeze through the tiny opening.
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Excerpt from Ancient Minutus