TIME Israel

Israeli Archeologist Claims to Have Found King David’s Citadel

Eli Shukron
AP Eli Shukron, an archeologist formerly with Israel's Antiquities Authority, walks in the City of David archaeological site near Jerusalem's Old City.

The supposed discovery of the biblical site has been met with religious and political criticism

An Israeli archeologist claims to have made a discovery of biblical proportions: the citadel King David captured in his conquest of Jerusalem over three thousand years ago.

Eli Shukron, who has excavated the City of David in Jerusalem for almost 20 years, told the Associated Press that “the whole site we can compare to the bible perfectly.” According to the second Book of Samuel, King David was said to have captured the walled city via an entrance in a water shaft. Shukron says this citadel houses a similar, narrow shaft. He also found two pottery shards dating back to the appropriate conquest date 3,800 years ago.

The discovery, however, has been met with the usual rounds of criticism both for religious reasons, as some historians claim there is little physical evidence of King David’s existence in Jerusalem, and also for political reasons. The $10 million excavation in an Arab neighborhood was funded by an organization that has been active in Jerusalem’s controversial settlements.

Ronny Reich, Shukron’s collaborator until 2008, said that “the connection between archaeology and the bible has become very, very problematic in recent years.”

The excavation site has been open to the public for a month.


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