An archaeologist digging at a hilltop south of Jerusalem believes a ceramic shard found in the ruins of an ancient town bears the oldest Hebrew inscription ever discovered, a find that could provide an important glimpse into the culture and language of the Holy Land at the time of the Bible.
The five lines of faded characters written 3,000 years ago, and the ruins of the fortified settlement where they were found, are indications that a powerful Israelite kingdom existed at the time of King David, says Yossi Garfinkel, the Hebrew University archaeologist in charge of the new dig.
The site [pictured above] overlooks the Elah Valley, said to be the scene of the slingshot showdown between David and the Philistine giant Goliath, and lies near the ruins of Goliath's hometown in the Philistine metropolis of Gath.
Garfinkel believes building fortifications like those at Hirbet Qeiyafa could not have been a local initiative: The walls would have required moving 200,000 tons of stone, a task too big for the 500 or so people who lived there. Instead, it would have required an organized kingdom like the one the Bible says David ruled.
[I]f Garfinkel's claim is borne out, it would bolster the case for the Bible's accuracy by indicating the Israelites could record events as they happened, transmitting the history that was later written down in the Bible several hundred years later.
First-Temple Water Tunnel Found in Jerusalem -Etgar Lefkovits
A water tunnel dating back to the First Temple era has been uncovered in the ancient City of David, Israeli archeologist Dr. Eilat Mazar said. The tunnel was discovered under an immense stone structure built in the 10th century BCE that has previously been identified by Mazar as the palace of King David.
The tunnel's characteristics, date, and location, Mazar said, testify with "high probability" that the water tunnel is the one called "tsinor" in the story of King David's conquest of Jerusalem (Samuel II, 5:6-8; Chronicles I, 11:4-6).