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3,000 year old treasures dated to the time of King David unveiled


The Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem offered a unique preview on Monday of an exhibition showcasing 3,000 year-old artifacts recovered from Khirbet Qeiyafa which archaeologists believe could be the biblical city of Sha’arayim, meaning ‘Two Gates’, that is mentioned in the story of the battle of David and the Philistine giant, Goliath.

Khirbet Qeiyafa, overlooking the Elah Valley southwest of Jerusalem, is an ancient fortified city that was discovered around a decade ago. But it was not until the second year of excavations in 2008 that archaeologists realized they had stumbled upon what was possibly the earliest physical evidence of a Davidic city dating back to the 11th Century BCE.
Over the course of seven years, excavations revealed a walled city with two equally large and dominant gates – a highly unusual feature for a relatively small city. The Elah Valley divided the lands of the Israelites and the Philistines, whose champion warrior was felled by the young shepherd boy David’s slingshot. When archaeologists excavated the gates they were reminded of the ancient city of Sha’arayim that featured in the famous story.

Other significant clues that pointed to the presence of a Judean stronghold are the absence of pig bones among the scores of animal remains, and most significantly, two inscriptions written in the Canaanite script that were found on a jar and a pottery fragment which are believed to be the earliest known example of Hebrew writing.

The excavations were supervised by Professor Yosef Garfinkel, Yigal Yardin Chair of Archaeology at the Institute of Archaeology


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