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Has the citadel stormed by David been found?

7 May 2014

At http://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/israeli-says-he-has… …. an archaeologist in Israel, a bit of a controversial figure mentioned before, thinks he has found the citadel captured by King David on the conquest of Jebusite Jerusalem. He has also left his job with a spade and has set up an exhibition on the project aimed at tourists – and presumably is doing quite well. Hence, a bit of scepticism is in order. His enterprise is to be admired but is he entirely honest with his target audience. His co-worker appears to disagree with his interpretation of what was found and this is what all the fuss is about – or so it would seem.

Eli Shukron is facting criticism – but this has been happening for a long time and is nothing new. He claims to have been digging at the site for almost 20 years and the centrepiece of all that work is a fortification wall which is composed of five ton stones stacked 21 feet wide (some 6m). They appear to be the largest walls found in Jersualem – prior to those of King Herod. The fortification also includes a spring of water – a prerequisite of a fortified settlement. The parallels with the David story are obvious – and have already been a feature of a post last year. He says the wall was built 800 years prior to David – around 1800BC it seems, possibly in MBII/III. Unfortunately, not a lot of Early Iron Age pottery has been found at the site – which is the mainstream date of David. Just two pieces in fact. Therefore, the presence of David in association with the fortifications is open to doubt. The post claims that a lot of pottery was found there – but does not say what period it comes from. Was it MB and LB, for example? Iron II on the other hand appears to be well represented. More information is required but at the moment Eli Shukron is happy to speculate.

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