Khirbet Qeiyafa has produced numerous exciting and controversial finds (see links below) that have kept the Biblical archaeology world buzzing. Overlooking the Valley of Elah in the Judean foothills, the fortified Judahite site of Qeiyafa, on the border with the Philistines, has produced persuasive evidence to support the kingship of David at the beginning of Iron Age II, when the Bible says he ruled. The unique presence of two gates at the site has led Garfinkel to identify it as Biblical Sha’arayim, which means “two gates” in Hebrew.
Khirbet Qeiyafa archaeologists Yosef Garfinkel, Michael Hasel and Martin Klingbeil discuss the latest finds from the 2013 season in the November/December 2013 issue of Biblical Archaeology Review, and set their sights on the site of Tel Lachish for the 2014 season. Read more about the article and their discoveries in Bible History Daily.
However, some scholars are skeptical of Garfinkel’s claims. Garfinkel has used evidence from Qeiyafa to argue that David and Solomon ruled over a well-organized and fully urbanized Judahite state in the tenth century B.C.E. Last year, Tel Aviv University’s Israel Finkelstein and Alexander Fantalkin published the article “Khirbet Qeiyafa: An Unsensational Archaeological and Historical Interpretation” critiquing Garfinkel’s methods, chronology and interpretations, and Foundation Stone codirector David Willner published an immediate response after today’s press release calling the announcement “unabashed sensationalism.”
The dramatic headline is sure to elicit a great deal of debate. Khirbet Qeiyafa is an undoubtedly important site, and we look forward to an imminent archaeological discussion on the newly uncovered palatial structure.
Eilat Mazar’s excavations in Jerusalem’s City of David uncovered massive structures from the era associated with King David. Read Did I Find King David’s Palace? by Eilat Mazar online for free as it appeared in the January/February 2006 issue of Biblical Archaeology Review.
The Hebrew Bible makes it clear that King David and his successors were buried somewhere on the narrow ridge of the City of David near the Gihon Spring where the earliest city of Jerusalem was located. But where exactly? Find out more in King David’s Tomb–A Closer Look.
Learn More about Khirbet Qeiyafa in Bible History Daily
Learn More about Khirbet Qeiyafa in the BAS Library
New (Published November 2013). Yosef Garfinkel, Michael Hasel and Martin Klingbeil “An Ending and a Beginning: Why we’re leaving Qeiyafa and going to Lachish” Biblical Archaeology Review, Nov/Dec 2013.
Gerard Leval “Ancient Inscription Refers to the Birth of Israelite Monarchy” Biblical Archaeology Review, May/June 2012.
Christopher Rollston “What’s the Oldest Hebrew Inscription?” Biblical Archaeology Review, May/June 2012.
Shanks, Hershel. “Newly Discovered: A Fortified City from King David’s Time.” Biblical Archaeology Review, Jan/Feb 2009.
Garfinkel, Yosef. “The Birth & Death of Biblical Minimalism.” Biblical Archaeology Review, May/Jun 2011
Garfinkel, Yosef. “Another View: Christopher Rollston’s Methodology of Caution.” Biblical Archaeology Review, Sep/Oct 2012.