Thursday, October 30, 2008

And maybe there was a King David after all

Writing on a shard dating from the time of David has been unearthed from a fortress overlooking the valley where David slew Goliath:
Archaeologists in Israel said on Thursday they had unearthed the oldest Hebrew text ever found, while excavating a fortress city overlooking a valley where the Bible says David slew Goliath....

Archaeologists from the Hebrew University said they found five lines of text written in black ink on a shard of pottery dug up at a five-acre (two-hectare) site called Elah Fortress, or Khirbet Qeiyafa.

Experts have not yet been able to decipher the text fully, but carbon dating of artifacts found at the site indicates the Hebrew inscription was written about 3,000 years ago, predating the Dead Sea Scrolls by 1,000 years, the archaeologists said.

Several words, including "judge," "slave" and "king," could be identified and the experts said they hoped the text would shed light on how alphabetic scripts developed.

In a finding that could have symbolic value for Israel, the archaeologists said other items discovered at the fortress dig indicated there was most likely a strong king and central government in Jerusalem during the period scholars believe that David ruled the holy city and ancient Israel.
It will be interesting to see what the text actually has to say, however the additional finds that point to a strong king and central government during the time of David would be devastating to the so-called 'Biblical minimalists' who deny that thre was any such person as David, and he is simply a later mytholigical construct to promote Hebrew nationalism.

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