King David is a pivotal figure in the Bible, which provides stirring accounts of his deeds, including the slaying of the Philistine giant Goliath and the founding of his capital in Jerusalem. However, no certain archaeological finds from the period of his reign or of the united kingdom he ruled over have been uncovered – until now.
In this first-hand and highly readable account, the excavators of Khirbet Qeiyafa in the Valley of Elah, where the Bible says David fought Goliath, reveal how seven years of exhaustive investigation have uncovered a city dating to the time of David – the late 11th and early 10th century bc – surrounded by massive fortifications with impressive gates, a clear urban plan and an abundance of finds that tell us much about the inhabitants, including a pottery sherd with the earliest known Hebrew inscription. The authors clearly describe the methods of the excavation and the evidence they discovered, as well as how we interpret it. But more than just a simple excavation report, this book also explains the significance of these discoveries and how they shed new light on David’s kingdom, as well as discussing the link between the Bible, archaeology and history. This topic is at the centre of a decades-long controversy, with some scholars disputing that the Bible contains a record of historical events and people, an approach that is convincingly challenged here.
Table of Contents
Part I. Introduction • 1. In King David’s Footsteps: Bible, History and Archaeology • 2. The
Curtain Rises on the Sorek and Elah Valleys Part II. The Story of the Khirbet Qeiyafa
Excavations 3. The City during the Period of King David: Construction and Urban Planning
• 4. The Finds: A City Frozen in Time • 5. Greetings from the Past: The Khirbet Qeiyafa
Inscriptions • 6. Cult in Judah prior to the construction of Solomon’s Temple Part III. What
is the Significance of the Finds from Khirbet Qeiyafa? 7. Khirbet Qeiyafa: Biblical
Shaaraim • 8. David’s Kingdom • 9. Solomon’s Palace and the First Temple • 10. Summary
Michael G. Hasel
Thames & Hudson