Jerusalem was Important, After All

EnglishSome Archaeologists, particularly those who belong to the so called Minimalist school, have denied for years that the kings David and Solomon ever existed or ever reigned over a significant territory. The arguments between them and their opponents depend on highly technical issues, such as how to date layers of earth in which certain objects were found (stratigraphy), as well as how to date events in the Tanakh. However, it generally boils down to the question of whether Israel was had a significant monarchy in the 10th century BCE, which is deduced from the size of the remains of building of that period. Kings need forts, garrisons, industries, stabes, etc. Since, so argue the Minimalists, little evidence was found of any extensive buildings of that period, there were probably none.

The arguments cannot be considered in a vacuum, one also needs to understand the cultural baggage that individual archaeologists bring, as well as their personal biases and those of the respective institutions they work for. Those who are fascinated by biblical archaeology know what I am talking about.

Interestingly, recently several finds have come to light that do close some gaps in our knowledge and now, some archaeologist admit that there plausibly could have been an Israelite monarchy at that time. (You wouldn’t expect too many of them to say that there actually was such a monarchy – let’s take it slowly ;-))

See the following recent articles:

  • Have Israeli archaeologists found world’s oldest [extant –AF] Hebrew inscription? (HaAretz)
  • King Solomon’s (copper) mines? Deep dig finds confluence of science and the Bible (PhysOrg.com)
  • This comes on the heels of an older report that King David’s palace may finally have been found: King David’s Palace Is Found, Archaeologist Says (New York Times, 2005; including obligatory remarks to sound even handed, OY what nonsense can find its way into respectable papers in order to stay Politically Correct ™)

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    One Response to Jerusalem was Important, After All

    1. Anonymous Reporter says:

      Dear Rabbi Folger

      Finkelstein and the other so called revisionist archaeologists were always a
      bit of a joke (as their claim that Jerusalem was completely excavated is
      really bizarre, since the city is built over and every dig is a major
      political issue (and we have not talked yet about the money). So it is no
      wonder that when the Mazars funded by the Shalem Institute actually started
      the dig in the Ir David they would actually find proof of the biblical
      account (by the way the also found the Palace of Heleni HaMalka from Baith
      Sheni with the ground floor and huge halls completely intact)
      Check out http://www.shalem.org.il/ and
      http://www.shalem.org.il/research.php?did=14 and of course
      http://www.shalemcenter.org.il/research.php?aid=c6dac1974dcf03660e4d4b89a7b36599&did=14
      With best wishes

      Anonymous Reporter

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