Archaeologists discovered part of a lost settlement they say may provide further proof of the existence of Biblical kings David and Solomon.
Historians uncovered a building belonging to an ancient settlement in an area about 30 kilometers from Jerusalem they believe to be associated with King David, according to The Sun. Archaeologists disagree on whether or not King David and King Solomon actually existed, but the age and location of the settlement lends greater credence to the Bible’s historical accuracy, Professor and archaeological dig co-head Avraham Faust said.
“Until 25 years ago, no one doubted that King David was a historical figure,” Faust said, according to Breaking Israel News (BIN). “In the last 25 years or so, however, David’s historicity, and especially the size of his kingdom, are hotly debated. The new discovery at Tel ‘Eton, located in the Judean Shephelah to the east of the Hebron hills, seems to suggest that the highland kingdom controlled larger areas than some scholars believe.”
Radiocarbon dating places the date of the building’s construction and use at approximately 1,000 B.C., which is the time period King David would have reigned. Faust and Yair Sapir of Bar-Ilan University also believe the settlement’s location suggests it is the city of Eglon, which, according to the Bible, fought against Israel as part of a coalition of five Amorite kings before being conquered and listed later as belonging to the tribe of Judah.
The evidence linking the settlement to David is only circumstantial, Faust explained. The scope of the settlement indicates the expansion of a kingdom based in the highlands and a major local and wider regional cultural shift that originated from that highland kingdom. Given the location and the time period the Bible gives for David’s reign, Faust told BIN the settlement’s link to David was plausible.
“The association with the highland kingdom, as well as the time of the change, are the main discovery; and if someone thinks that there was no King David, that person should come with a different name for the highland king in whose time the region was incorporated into the highland kingdom,” Faust said, according to BIN.
As to how they studied the building’s foundations, archaeologists said they had help from mole rats. These creatures burrow underground and push earth from below to the surface, which can give indications of what lies beneath. If historians verify the link between the settlement and King David, it will be the second settlement attributed to the Biblical king — the first being a fortress in Khirbet Qeiyafa.
Other evidence in favor of King David’s existence includes the discovery of the Tel Dan Stele in 1993, which bore inscriptions proclaiming victories over Israel and the king of the House of David.
“The Tel Dan Stele absolutely one hundred percent proves that King David existed,” AnaRina Heymann, outreach coordinator for City of David and director of Jerusalem Watch, told BIN. “It refutes any claim that King David was merely a story.”
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