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Archeology, Israel
 

Proof that biblical accounts of King David and Solomon are accurate

.'We are very positive that these bullae are associated with the Iron Age IIA, which we date to the 10th century BC, and which lends general support to the historical veracity of David and Solomon as recorded in the Hebrew biblical texts.

SOURCES Daily Mail Jerusalem 20 DECEMBER 2014 14:40 h GMT+1
clay seals David Salomon Israel Official clay seals (most well-preserved example pictured) may finally prove that there was a ruler, or at least government activity, in the region during the 9th and 10th century BC

For centuries, scholars have either dismissed King David and King Solomon as mythological figures, or disputed the era in which they ruled over the Israelites, as told in the Bible.



But the discovery of six official clay seals may finally prove that there was a ruler in the region during the 9th and 10th century BC.



Although the bullae don't directly reference David or Solomon, they do suggest the presence of a government and political activity during their respective supposed reigns.



For centuries, scholars have dismissed David and Solomon as mythological figures. But the discovery of six official clay seals (most well-preserved example pictured) may finally prove that there was a ruler, or at least government activity, in the region during the 9th and 10th century BC



The clay seals were found at Khirbet Summeily, an archaeological site in Tell-el Hesi to the east of Gaza in southern Israel, by Jimmy Hardin, associate professor in the Department of Anthropology and Middle Eastern Cultures at Mississippi State University.



He said the clay bullae were used to seal official correspondence in much the same way wax seals were used on official documents in later periods.



Professor Hardin, co-director of the Hesi Regional Project, has been excavating in the region  v since 2011. 'Our preliminary results indicated that this site is integrated into a political entity that is typified by elite activities, suggesting that a state was already being formed in the 10th century BC,' Professor Hardin said.



.'We are very positive that these bullae are associated with the Iron Age IIA, which we date to the 10th century BC, and which lends general support to the historical veracity of David and Solomon as recorded in the Hebrew biblical texts.



'These appear to be the only known examples of bullae from the 10th century, making this discovery unique.'



The finds contribute to an ongoing debate about whether governments or states existed in the early Iron Ages.



Professor Hardin said that the artefacts hold far-reaching implications for the growing number of scholars who maintain such political organisation occurred much later than biblical texts suggest.



 



DAVID´S HOUSE



The discovery adds to a growing body of evidence that points to the rule of the House of David in the region. A large rock, known as the Tel Dan Stele, was discovered in the early 1990s and inscriptions on its surface reference a King of Israel and the House of David.



Although the translation isn't complete, in particular, the eighth and ninth lines have been translated as: 'The king of Israel, and I killed [...]yahu son of [... the ki]/ng of the House of David. And I made [their towns into ruins].



The broken stele is currently on display at the at Metropolitan Museum of Art as part of its Assyria to Iberia at the Dawn of the Classical Age exhibit.



The museum calls its inscription: 'the earliest extra-biblical reference to the House of David.'



Epigraphers and biblical historians are said to be in agreement that the letters 'bytdvd' on the stone refer to the House of King David.  



In a separate study, Professor Gershon Galil of the University of Haifa discovered new archaeological and epigraphic data in northwestern Syria and southern Turkey.



This data is said to offer important information about the period of David's reign, and how far his rule reached.



According to Professor Galil's discoveries,after the victory of David king of Israel, over the Arameans, David would have controlled the entire area from the Sinai Peninsula to the Euphrates.



This includes areas in Israel, Zobah and Palistin in the 10th century BC. 



'Some text scholars and archaeologists have dismissed the historic reliability of the biblical text surrounding kings David and Solomon, such as recorded in the Bible in the books of Kings and Second Samuel, which scholars often date to the Iron Age IIA or 10th century BC,' Professor Hardin said.



'The fact that these bullae came off of sealed written documents shows that this site - located out on the periphery of pretty much everything - is integrated at a level far beyond subsistence.



'You have either political or administrative activities going on at a level well beyond those typical of a rural farmstead.'



The discovery adds to a growing body of evidence that points to the rule of the House of David in the region.



A large rock, known as the Tel Dan Stele, was discovered in the early 1990s and inscriptions on its surface reference a King of Israel and the House of David.



 



DAVID & SALOMON



The Bible claims David ruled the Kingdom of Israel and later Judah between 1010 BC until his death in 970BC.



He is referenced in the Books of Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles and mentions of the House of David were found inscribed on the Tel Dan Stele, believed to data back to around 840BC.



This suggests the existence of a mid-9th century BC royal household under the name of David.



He is seen as an important figure in various religions including Judaism, Christianity and Islam.



The most famous story about David is his battle with Goliath, when under the reign of David's predecessor King Saul, warrior David took down the Philistine giant and saved the Israelities.



When David died, the reign was passed to his son Solomon.



Solomon was considered a wise king, and is said to have written the Song of Songs, Book of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes.



Solomon is also cited as building the first temple in Jerusalem, known as Solomon's Temple on Mount Zion.



This temple was later said to have been destroyed but no direct archaeological evidence to pinpoint its exact location has been discovered.



Solomon caused controversy for collecting vast amount of wealth and having 700 wives and 300 mistresses, including a foreign wife in the form of the daughter of a Pharaoh.



Solomon's reign was said to have lasted for 40 years. 


 

 


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