Where David battled Goliath Scientists stumble across King David’s palace | Pakistan Today

Where David battled Goliath Scientists stumble across King David’s palace

Archaeologists have unearthed a palace in what they believe is the fortified Judean city of Shaarayim, where the Bible states King David battled the giant Goliath. The discovery of what is thought to be King David’s palace, measuring 1,000 square metres, was made by Hebrew University and the Israel Antiquities Authority. Over the past seven years the teams have also uncovered a huge storehouse containing pots and artefacts that they believe proves the existence of a ruler in Judah in the tenth century BCE. ‘The ruins are the best example to date of the uncovered fortress city of King David,’ professors Yossi Garfinkel and Saar Ganor of Hebrew University said.
‘This is indisputable proof of the existence of a central authority in Judah during the time of King David.’
The biblical city of Shaarayim is thought to have become the modern city of Khirbet Qeiyafa, which is approximately 30 kilometres south west of Jerusalem. The professors said that the ruins are the two largest known buildings to have existed at the time of King David in Jerusalem. They added: ‘The southern part of a large palace that extended across an area of about 1,000 square meters was revealed at the top of the city.
‘The wall enclosing the palace is about 30 metres long and an impressive entrance is fixed through which one descended to the southern gate of the city, opposite the Valley of Elah. ‘Around the palace’s perimeter were rooms in which various installations were found — evidence of a metal industry, special pottery vessels and fragments of alabaster vessels that were imported from Egypt.’ The archaeologists collected hundreds of artefacts at the site, including religious objects, seals, pottery and tools typical of the time.
The palace is at the centre of the site and is higher than the houses lower in the city. The royal occupants would have had an excellent view of the land, stretching from the Mediterranean Sea in the west to the Hebron Mountains and Jerusalem in the east. It is believed that much of the palace was destroyed 1,400 years after it was built when a fortified farmhouse was erected in its place during the Byzantine period.
Professors Garfinkel and Ganor said: ‘The palace that is now being revealed and the fortified city that was uncovered in recent years are another tier in understanding the beginning of the Kingdom of Judah.’ The archaeologists also found a large pillared building which was used as an administrative storeroom. The professors said: ‘It was in this building the kingdom stored taxes it received in the form of agricultural produce collected from the residents of the different villages in the Judean Shephelah. ‘Hundreds of large store jars were found at the site whose handles were stamped with an official seal as was customary in the Kingdom of Judah for centuries.’
They believe the palace and storerooms are evidence of state-sponsored construction and an administrative organisation during King David’s reign. ‘This is unequivocal evidence of a kingdom’s existence, which knew to establish administrative centres at strategic points,’ said Professors Garfinkel and Ganor. ‘To date no palaces have been found that can clearly be ascribed to the early tenth century BCE as we can do now.’ The Israel Antiquities Authority said it hoped that the new discoveries will lead to the site becoming a national park.



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