Eilat Mazar, who has directed excavations in the City of David for several years, has another find.
Hebrew University archaeologists have revealed an ancient path in Jerusalem believed to date back to the time of King Solomon, along with structures including a gateway and the foundation of a building. Dr. Eilat Mazar, the leader of the archaeological dig, said the findings match finds from the time of the First Temple.
The latest find includes a 70-meter long and six-meter-high stone wall, a small house adjacent to a gateway leading to what was once the royal courtyard, a building that served city officials, and a tower that overlooked the Kidron river.
According to Mazar, the wall is likely to be the wall built by King Solomon. “This is the first time a building has been found that matches descriptions of the building carried out by King Solomon in Jerusalem,” she said.
The third chapter of the Biblical book of Kings describes King Solomon building “his own house, and the house of the L-rd, and the wall of Jerusalem round about.” The wall testifies to relatively advanced engineering capabilities, archaeologists said. It runs through historic Jerusalem, between the City of David and the Temple Mount.
The article from Israel National News cites pottery as the basis for dating the wall to the 10th century B.C., the time of David and Solomon. The article mentions ‘LMLK’-type inscriptions on some of the pottery handles and includes a few photos of the finds.
This is an early report and not (yet) a published find, but we’ll keep following it. If the dating holds up, this could be significant. Many scholars have argued that 10th century Jerusalem was poor and rustic, with its ‘kings’ being no more than regional chieftains. The Bible, of course, records a powerful monarchy ruling over distant territories from this city. Powerful monarchs build powerful structures from the wealth and manpower at their disposal. Chieftains can only build smallish structures with their limited resources. This is why the massive fortifications at little 10th century Khirbet Qeiyafa are so significant – only a powerful central authority could have built them.
Anyone going to Jerusalem later this year should be able to see this new wall with its related structures.
Update: Todd Bolen indicates this may not be a new discovery, but a re-excavating and re-dating of an old one.