King David's kingdom was as grand as the Bible describes it to be

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Washington, Nov 21 : The discovery of the second gate of a 3,000-year-old fortress unearthed outside Jerusalem, is being claimed by archaeologists as further evidence that the first kingdom of King David was as grand as the Bible describes it to be.

"Here we are in the footsteps of David," said archaeologist Yosef Garfinkel. "It's facing Jerusalem, another indication that it is part of the Judean kingdom," he added.

This 3,000-year-old fortress with two gates, to this day surrounded by a stone wall that contains original stones from the period, is the only one of its kind ever uncovered. ccording to a report in The Jewish Journal, it could be the remains of a town referred to in the Bible as Sha'arayim, meaning "two gates" in Hebrew.

The unearthing of the two gates, along with a pottery shard found by a teenage dig-site volunteer inscribed with what is believed to be the earliest known Hebrew text written in a Proto-Canaanite script, are being heralded as significant historical finds for a period - the 10th century B.C.E. - with scant physical evidence.

Some scholars argue that David's Jerusalem was merely a backwater village glorified into a mythical place by those they say penned the Bible centuries later.

Others suggest that true to its biblical description, it was a genuine power overseeing a strong and united kingdom.

The discovery of what is being called the Elah Fortress has quickly been used to reinforce the latter argument.

Located on the road to Jerusalem, the fortress could have been a front-line defense of the city against enemy Philistines, according to Garfinkel, and evidence of a powerful and centralized kingdom that needed protection.

"A certain amount of the biblical tradition indeed preserves historical stories and historical events. This is the first time in the history of archaeology of Israel that you have a fortified city dated to the time of David," said Garfinkel.

"No archaeological site gave you such a clear picture about the Kingdom of David as this one," he added.

ANI

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