King David's palace found, says Israeli team

Jul 21, 2013 by Max J. Rosenthal
This undated aerial photo released by the Israel Antiquities Authority shows the archeological site in Khirbet Qeiyafa, west of Jerusalem. A team of Israeli archaeologists say they have discovered a palace used by King David at the site, a historic discovery that was quickly disputed by other members of the country's archaeological community. (AP Photo/SkyView, HOEP)

(AP)—A team of Israeli archaeologists believes it has discovered the ruins of a palace belonging to the biblical King David, but other Israeli experts dispute the claim.

Archaeologists from Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Israel's Antiquities Authority said their find, a large fortified complex west of Jerusalem at a site called Khirbet Qeiyafa , is the first palace of the biblical king ever to be discovered.

"Khirbet Qeiyafa is the best example exposed to date of a fortified city from the time of King David," said Yossi Garfinkel, a Hebrew University archaeologist, suggesting that David himself would have used the site. Garfinkel led the seven-year dig with Saar Ganor of Israel's Antiquities Authority.

Garfinkel said his team found cultic objects typically used by Judeans, the subjects of King David, and saw no trace of pig remains. Pork is forbidden under Jewish dietary laws. Clues like these, he said, were "unequivocal evidence" that David and his descendants had ruled at the site.

Critics said the site could have belonged to other kingdoms of the area. The consensus among most scholars is that no definitive physical proof of the existence of King David has been found.

Biblical archaeology itself is contentious. Israelis often use to back up their historic claims to sites that are also claimed by the Palestinians, like the Old City of Jerusalem. Despite extensive , for example, Palestinians deny that the biblical Jewish Temples dominated the hilltop where the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, Islam's third-holiest site, stands today.

In general, researchers are divided over whether biblical stories can be validated by physical remains.

The current excavators are not the first to claim they found a King David palace. In 2005, Israeli archaeologist Eilat Mazar said she found the remains of King David's palace in Jerusalem dating to the 10th century B.C., when King David would have ruled. Her claim also attracted skepticism, including from Garfinkel himself.

Using carbon dating, the traced the site's construction to that same period. Garfinkel said the team also found a storeroom almost 15 meters (50 feet) long, suggesting it was a royal site used to collect taxes from the rest of the kingdom.

Garfinkel believes King David lived permanently in Jerusalem in a yet-undiscovered site, only visiting Khirbet Qeiyafa or other palaces for short periods. He said the site's placement on a hill indicates that the ruler sought a secure site on high ground during a violent era of frequent conflicts between city-states.

"The time of David was the first time that a large portion of this area was united by one monarch," Garfinkel said. "It was not a peaceful era."

Archaeologist Israel Finkelstein of Tel Aviv University agreed that Khirbet Qeiyafa is an "elaborate" and "well-fortified" 10th century B.C. site, but said it could have been built by Philistines, Canaanites or other peoples in the area.

He said there was no way to verify who built the site without finding a monument detailing the accomplishments of the who built it. Last week, for instance, archaeologists in Israel found pieces of a sphinx bearing the name of the Egyptian pharaoh who reigned when the statue was carved.

Garfinkel insisted that critics like Finkelstein are relying on outdated theories.

"I think other people have a collapsed theory and we have fresh data," he said.

Explore further: Inscription from time of David & Solomon found near Temple Mount in Hebrew University excavation

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User comments : 7

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cantdrive85
1.5 / 5 (8) Jul 21, 2013
Joos will use whatever reasoning they can to justify stealing land and exterminating the Palestinians. The sad part is how they aren't condemned for their jooish apartheid state.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.5 / 5 (8) Jul 21, 2013
Of course it's not true. The site is not even in Jerusalem. It shows the existential dangers that religion poses to legitimate science.

I suggest that digs such as this be continuously monitored to prevent the destruction of evidence; or better yet, that religionists be prevented from undertaking them.

The chances that valuable info and artifacts could be lost and myths perpetuated is too great to allow people access to these sites who think they already know what ought to be found there, and are capable of any actions in order to prove it.
MrVibrating
3.7 / 5 (3) Jul 21, 2013
Joos will use whatever reasoning they can to justify stealing land and exterminating the Palestinians. The sad part is how they aren't condemned for their jooish apartheid state.
The only place in Israel that enforces apartheid policies is the al-aqsa complex, which only allows access to moslems, but especially not Joos. That's because it's an Islamic waqf, under the jurisdiction of sharia.

Not joos.
MrVibrating
3.7 / 5 (3) Jul 21, 2013
Of course it's not true. The site is not even in Jerusalem. It shows the existential dangers that religion poses to legitimate science.

I suggest that digs such as this be continuously monitored to prevent the destruction of evidence; or better yet, that religionists be prevented from undertaking them.

The chances that valuable info and artifacts could be lost and myths perpetuated is too great to allow people access to these sites who think they already know what ought to be found there, and are capable of any actions in order to prove it.


Whereas on the contrary, all of Israel (but especially Judea (and doubly-so Jerusalem)) is the legitimate and righteous province of the "third most holy site in Islam" because Mohammed dreamt he flew there one night, on a flying ass with a mans' head (named al-burack), from Mecca, hundreds of miles away in Arabia, even though his 6 year old wife Aisha insisted he never left her bed all night.

Do you know what a 'dhimmi' is, Otto?
dtxx
1.8 / 5 (5) Jul 21, 2013
Hay guyz the bible must be true!!! These jew fucks found some shitty evidence they will use to seize palestinian land. All praise Jewweh!!
Tim_Riches
5 / 5 (3) Jul 22, 2013
No substantive comments so far. Very well. Finkelstein is correct. Unless something is found that clearly shows David built the place, this is just another failed attempt to revive 'Biblical Archaeology'. If there is an unambiguous statement that can be made about Israeli archaeology, it is that it does not support the Bible.
Birger
5 / 5 (1) Jul 22, 2013
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.
Wishful thinking is the enemy of all science.

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