King David’s Palace Found?

This will spark a firestorm, no doubt. There are many people who don’t want this to be true:

An Israeli archaeologist says she has uncovered in East Jerusalem what may be the fabled palace of the biblical King David. Her work has been sponsored by a conservative Israeli research institute and financed by an American Jewish investment banker who would like to prove that Jerusalem was indeed the capital of the Jewish kingdom described in the Bible.

Eilat Mazar, an Israeli archaeologist, stood amid the ruins of a huge public building of the 10th century B.C. that she believes may be the remains of King David’s palace in a biblical Jewish capital.

Other scholars are skeptical that the foundation walls discovered by the archaeologist, Eilat Mazar, are David’s palace. But they acknowledge that what she has uncovered is rare and important: a major public building from around the 10th century B.C., with pottery shards that date to the time of David and Solomon and a government seal of an official mentioned in the book of Jeremiah.

The discovery is likely to be a new salvo in a major dispute in biblical archaeology: whether the kingdom of David was of some historical magnitude, or whether the kings were more like small tribal chieftains, reigning over another dusty hilltop.

There are a lot of political and theological ramifications to this find. It may get ugly, but it should be interesting.

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