Was King David’s reign a myth? The poet king is at the center of Israel’s ancient biblical history, but many have questioned if he and his kingdom actually existed.
After years of work at Khirbet Qeiyafa, Southern Adventist University’s Institute of Archaeology is proud to answer these questions. “The Battle Over King David: Excavating the Fortress of Elah” opened Nov. 7 at the Lynn H. Wood Archaeological Museum on the school’s campus in Collegedale, Tenn.
For the past four years, the institute has been taking students to Israel to help uncover the remains at the Fortress of Elah, an ancient city from the time of David. Archaeological evidence found at this site has shed new light on the authenticity of the history of David and his kingdom.
“What’s great about this exhibit is that, for the first time, we have artifacts Southern students have excavated for themselves,” said Michael Hasel, director of the Institute of Archaeology.
Displays include several pottery and stone vessels dating to the time of king David, as well as coins and stamp seals from various other periods.
“The excavations at Khirbet Qeiyafa have been making headlines since 2008,” said Justo Morales, coordinator for the Lynn H. Wood Archaeological Museum. “The oldest Hebrew inscription (or piece of writing) in existence was discovered there by students, along with strong evidence that the Fortress of Elah may be where the Israelites camped before David had his famed battle with Goliath.”
The artifacts that will be featured at the exhibit are on loan from the National Treasures of Israel and will be returned at the end of April 2014.
“We have invested a lot of time and financial resources into this incredible site for four years now,” Hasel said. “And we are delighted to make the findings and discoveries of Khirbet Qeiyafa available to the public for the first time in the world.”
Written by Luke Evans