[b-hebrew] ? David's palace in Jerusalem
villandra at austin.rr.com
Fri Aug 5 07:17:08 EDT 2005
This is indeed interesting.
One thing that surely happened is that Israel had origins. Given that the
Egyptian record shows events of Judges happening in the 18th and 19th
dynasties (or was it 19th and 20th), before 1220, surely there was also
history taking place in the 10th century.
Though one theory is that David was a not very elaborate tribal chieftain
and Jerusalem no more than a citadel.
Under what king was this guy an official? I am wondering why one of
David's officials would be mentioned exclusively in the book of Jeremiah.
a bulla, or
governmental seal, of an official - Jehucal (or Jucal), son of
Shelemiah, son of Shevi - who is mentioned at least twice in the
Book of Jeremiah.
villandra at austin.rr.com
----- Original Message -----
From: "Yigal Levin" <leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il>
To: "b-hebrew" <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>;
<biblical-studies at yahoogroups.com>; <archaeology2 at yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Friday, August 05, 2005 12:31 AM
Subject: [b-hebrew] ? David's palace in Jerusalem
> Here's one that should stir up some debate:
> Yigal Levin
> August 5, 2005
> Digging Deep for Proof of an Ancient Jewish Capital
> By STEVEN ERLANGER
> JERUSALEM, Aug. 4 - An Israeli archaeologist says she has uncovered
> in East Jerusalem what may be the fabled palace of the biblical
> King David. Her work has been sponsored by a conservative Israeli
> research institute and financed by an American Jewish investment
> banker who would like to prove that Jerusalem was indeed the
> capital of the Jewish kingdom described in the Bible.
> Other scholars are skeptical that the foundation walls discovered
> by the archaeologist, Eilat Mazar, are David's palace. But they
> acknowledge that what she has uncovered is rare and important: a
> major public building from around the 10th century B.C., with
> pottery shards that date to the time of David and Solomon and a
> government seal of an official mentioned in the book of Jeremiah.
> The discovery is likely to be a new salvo in a major dispute in
> biblical archaeology: whether the kingdom of David was of some
> historical magnitude, or whether the kings were more like small
> tribal chieftains, reigning over another dusty hilltop.
> The find will also be used in the broad political battle over
> Jerusalem - whether the Jews have their origins here and thus have
> some special hold on the place, or whether, as many Palestinians
> have said, including the late Yasir Arafat, the idea of a Jewish
> origin in Jerusalem is a myth used to justify conquest and
> Hani Nur el-Din, a Palestinian professor of archaeology at Al Quds
> University, said he and his colleagues considered biblical
> archaeology an effort by Israelis "to fit historical evidence into
> a biblical context." He added: "The link between the historical
> evidence and the biblical narration, written much later, is largely
> missing. There's a kind of fiction about the 10th century. They try
> to link whatever they find to the biblical narration. They have a
> button, and they want to make a suit out of it."
> Even Israeli archaeologists are not so sure that Ms. Mazar has
> found the palace - the house that Hiram, king of Tyre, built for
> the victorious king, at least as Samuel 2:5 describes it. It may
> also be the Fortress of Zion that David conquered from the
> Jebusites, who ruled Jerusalem before him, or some other structure
> about which the Bible is silent.
> Either way, they are impressed by its likely importance. "This is a
> very significant discovery, given that Jerusalem as the capital of
> the united kingdom is very much unknown," said Gabriel Barkay, an
> archaeologist from Bar-Ilan University. "This is one of the first
> greetings we have from the Jerusalem of David and Solomon, a period
> which has played a kind of hide-and-seek with archaeologists for
> the last century."
> Based on the Bible and a century of archaeology in this spot, Ms.
> Mazar, 48, speculated that a famous stepped-stone structure
> excavated previously was part of the fortress David conquered, and
> that his palace would have been built just outside the original
> walls of the cramped city, on the way to what his son, Solomon,
> built as the Temple Mount.
> "When the Philistines came to fight, the Bible said that David went
> down from his house to the fortress," she said, her eyes bright. "I
> wondered, down from where? Presumably from where he lived, his
> "So I said, maybe there's something here," she added, referring to
> East Jerusalem.
> David's palace was the topic of a last conversation Ms. Mazar had
> with her grandfather, Benjamin Mazar, a famous archaeologist who
> helped to train her and who died 10 years ago. Five months ago,
> with money and permission from the Ir David Foundation, which
> controls the site (and supports Jews moving into East Jerusalem),
> she finally began to dig.
> Amihai Mazar, a professor of archaeology at Hebrew University,
> calls the find "something of a miracle." He says he believes that
> the building may be the Fortress of Zion that David is said to have
> conquered, which he renamed the City of David. "What she found is
> fascinating, whatever it is," he said.
> Mr. Mazar is Ms. Mazar's second cousin, but he has his own
> reputation to protect.
> Archaeologists debate "to what extent Jerusalem was an important
> city or even a city in the time of David and Samuel," he said.
> "Some believe it was tiny and the kingdom unimportant." The site of
> ancient Jerusalem, stuck between two valleys on a ridge south of
> the Temple Mount, is very small, less than 10 acres.
> Israel Finkelstein, another renowned archaeologist, has suggested
> that without significant evidence, Jerusalem in this period was
> "perhaps not more than a typical hill-country village."
> In his book, "The Bible Unearthed," Mr. Finkelstein writes with
> Neil Silberman, "Not only was any sign of monumental architecture
> missing, but so were even simple pottery shards."
> Ms. Mazar believes she has found a riposte: a large public
> building, with at least some pottery of the time, and a bulla, or
> governmental seal, of an official - Jehucal (or Jucal), son of
> Shelemiah, son of Shevi - who is mentioned at least twice in the
> Book of Jeremiah.
> The building can be reasonably dated by the pottery found above and
> below it. Ms. Mazar found on the bedrock a large floor of crushed
> limestone, indicating a large public space. The floor and fill
> above it contain pottery from Iron Age I of the 12th to 11th
> centuries B.C., just before David conquered Jerusalem.
> Above that, Ms. Mazar found the foundations for this monumental
> building, with large boulders for walls that are about 2 yards
> thick and extend at least 30 yards. In one corner was pottery of
> Iron Age II, the 10th to 9th centuries, roughly the time of the
> united kingdom.
> Unfortunately, Mr. Mazar said, she found no floor. It is clear the
> building was constructed after the pottery underneath it, but less
> clear exactly how much later.
> The archaeological debate is also partly a debate over the roots of
> Zionism and the effort to find Jewish origins deep in the land. Ms.
> Mazar's latest dig, which has cost about $500,000, has been
> sponsored by Roger Hertog, a New York financier who is vice
> chairman of Alliance Capital Management. Mr. Hertog, who owns a
> piece of The New York Sun and The New Republic, is also chairman of
> the board of the Shalem Center in Jerusalem, where Ms. Mazar is a
> senior fellow.
> The Shalem Center was founded as Israel's first "neoconservative
> think-tank," said William Kristol, who is also on the board, in an
> effort to give the Israeli right a better foundation in history,
> economics, archaeology and other topics.
> Mr. Hertog calls his investment in Ms. Mazar "venture philanthropy
> - you have the opportunity for intellectual speculation, to fund
> something that is a work of great consequence." He said he hoped to
> show "that the Bible reflects Jewish history."
> Ms. Mazar continues to dig, but right now, three families are
> living in houses where she would most like to explore. One family
> is Muslim, one Christian and one Jewish.
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