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Has the biblical King David's palace been found?

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
July 22nd, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

A palace which archaeologists believe is the fortified Judean city of Shaarayim, where the Bible states King David battled the giant Goliath has been uncovered in Israel. The structure is thought to be King David's palace, measuring 1,000 square meters, according to Hebrew University and the Israel Antiquities Authority.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Archaeological teams have also uncovered a huge storehouse containing pots and artifacts over the past seven years they believe proves the existence of a ruler in Judah in the tenth century BCE.

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"The ruins are the best example to date of the uncovered fortress city of King David," professors Yossi Garfinkel and Saar Ganor of Hebrew University said. "This is indisputable proof of the existence of a central authority in Judah during the time of King David."
 
The biblical city of Shaarayim is thought to have become the modern city of Khirbet Qeiyafa, southwest of Jerusalem.

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The professors said that the ruins are the two largest known buildings to have existed at the time of King David in Jerusalem. "The southern part of a large palace that extended across an area of about 1,000 square meters was revealed at the top of the city.

"The wall enclosing the palace is about 30 meters long and an impressive entrance is fixed through which one descended to the southern gate of the city, opposite the Valley of Elah.

"Around the palace's perimeter were rooms in which various installations were found -- evidence of a metal industry, special pottery vessels and fragments of alabaster vessels that were imported from Egypt," researchers say.

Hundreds of artifacts have been collected at the site, including religious objects, seals, pottery and tools typical of the time.

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The palace is at the center of the site and is higher than the houses lower in the city.

The monarchy would have had sweeping views of the land, stretching from the Mediterranean Sea in the west to the Hebron Mountains and Jerusalem in the east.

It's believed that much of the palace was destroyed 1,400 years after it was built when a fortified farmhouse was erected in its place during the Byzantine period.

"The palace that is now being revealed and the fortified city that was uncovered in recent years are another tier in understanding the beginning of the Kingdom of Judah," Professors Garfinkel and Ganor say.

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"It was in this building the kingdom stored taxes it received in the form of agricultural produce collected from the residents of the different villages in the Judean Shephelah.

"Hundreds of large store jars were found at the site whose handles were stamped with an official seal as was customary in the Kingdom of Judah for centuries."

The palace and storerooms, they say, are evidence of state-sponsored construction and an administrative organization during King David's reign.

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