An excavation conducted jointly by the Hebrew University and the Israel Antiquities Authority has uncovered what they believe to be the remnants of King David’s palace. The site, Khirbet Qeiyafa, is located approximately 30 km southwest of present-day Jerusalem, and was excavated over the course of seven years. Archaeologists have uncovered part of a large palace, several meters of city wall, houses, and what is believed to be a storeroom.
Yossi Garfinkel of the Hebrew University told the IB Times: “The ruins are the best example to date of the uncovered fortress of the city of King David”. Garfinkel also stated that the ruins provide “indisputable proof” that centralized authority existed in Judah during King David’s reign. Garfinkel, along with Israel Antiquities Authority researcher Saar Ganor issued the following statement, which was printed in The Times of Israel:
Khirbet Qeiyafa is the best example exposed to date of a fortified city from the time of King David. The southern part of a large palace that extended across an area of c. 1000 sq. m. was revealed at the top of the city. The wall enclosing the palace is c. 30 m. long and an impressive entrance is fixed it 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 metal industry, special pottery vessels and fragments of alabaster vessels that were imported from Egypt. . . .This [site] is unequivocal evidence of a kingdom’s existence, which knew to establish administrative centers as strategic points. To date, no palaces have been found that can clearly be ascribed to the early tenth century BCE as we can do now. Khirbet Qeiyafa was probably destroyed in one of the battles that were fought against the Philistines circa 980 BCE. 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 IB Times reports that King David’s palace was reportedly discovered previously in 2005 by Eilat Mazar. Mazar began digging in the oldest part of Jerusalem, acting on a verse in 2 Samuel which describes David’s palace. She uncovered a stone structure and pottery shards from 1000 BCE; however, some archaeologists have discounted her findings, saying that her literal interpretation of the Bible has distorted her scientific examination of the site.
As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, sometimes mistakenly referred to as “Mormons,” we believe the Bible to be God’s word, and we follow the Savior’s teachings outlined there. We don’t rely on academic, scientific, or archaeological evidence to prove that the Bible is God’s word. However, it can be validating for believers and nonbelievers alike to read of evidence concerning the Bible, even if it is just a small part of the Bible. The discovery of David’s ancient palace is a great archaeological find and is wonderful for Christians and Jews across the world. But the matter of where exactly King David’s ancient palace was located is not as important as David’s life, lessons, and teachings, and how we can apply them to our lives today.
For more information about the excavation, please visitThe Jerusalem Post.