Israeli archeologists have uncovered ruins of biblical proportions.
In a joint excavation between Hebrew University in Jerusalem and the Israel Antiquities Authority, archeologists say they found King David’s palace and a royal storehouse in Khirbet Qeiyafa, southwest of Jerusalem. The two structures are believed to be the largest structures uncovered from the Kingdom of Judea in the 10th century B.C., Haaretz reports.
"The ruins are the best example to date of the uncovered fortress city of King David," professors Yossi Garfinkel of Hebrew University and Saar Ganor, who led the excavations, said. "This is indisputable proof of the existence of a central authority in Judah during the time of King David."
The southern part of the palace extended across an area of 10,800 square feet with an enclosing wall that was about 100 feet long. The palace’s perimeter had rooms where pottery vessels and imported alabaster fragments were found, Garfinkel and Ganor said in their findings.
"The palace is located in the center of the site and controls all of the houses lower than it in the city. From here one has an excellent vantage looking out into the distance, from as far as the Mediterranean Sea in the west to the Hebron Mountains and Jerusalem in the east," IAA spokeswoman Yoli Schwartz told the Times of Israel.
The excavation was seven years in the making. Archaeologists believe the site was most likely destroyed in a battle against the Philistines in 980 B.C. Khirbet Qeiyafa, a site uncovered in 2007, used to be an ancient fortress and one of the earliest Judean cities. Besides being a well-planned, fortified city, it also may be the place where the infamous battle between David and Goliath took place, the Jerusalem Post reports.
This isn’t the first time an archaeologist claimed to have discovered King David’s palace. In 2005, Eilat Mazar began an excavation in the oldest part of Jerusalem known as the City of David. Using the bible for reference, she began to dig on the northern edge of the site that could correspond to a verse in the book of Samuel II that describes King David’s palace, the Times of Israel reports.
There, Mazar found a massive building called the Large Stone Structure and pottery shards that date back to about 1,000 B.C. Some archaeologists contest her findings saying her literal biblical interpretation distorts actual scientific record.
Garfinkel maintains the ruins his team uncovered are where the Judean king stepped foot thousands of years ago.
"There is no question that the ruler of the city sat here, and, when King David came to visit the hills, he slept here," Garfinkel told Haaretz.