Controversial Qeiyafa Comes to U.S. Museum

Through April 2014
Lynn H. Wood Archaeological Museum
Collegedale, Tennessee

Since the beginning of Dr. Yosef Garfinkel’s excavation at Khirbet Qeiyafa in 2007, the site has been producing exciting and controversial finds that have kept the Biblical archaeology world buzzing. A new exhibit at Southern Adventist University’s Lynn H. Wood Archaeological Museum, The Battle over King David: Excavating the Fortress of Elah, will now present many of the finds from Khirbet Qeiyafa to the public for the first time. A team from Southern Adventist University has been excavating at the site in partnership with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem since 2009.

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. A scale model of one of the gates will be on display in the exhibit (shown above), as well as a number of ceramic vessels, seals, coins and stamped jar handles. Replicas of the well-known Qeiyafa Ostracon* and a small limestone shrine will also be on view (the original objects are being studied in Israel and were not available for loan).

Interested in Khirbet Qeiyafa? Read more in Bible History Daily:

Breaking News—Evidence of Cultic Activity in Judah Discovered at Khirbet Qeiyafa

Qeiyafa Ostracon Relates the Birth of the Kingdom of Israel

Khirbet Qeiyafa Excavator to Announce New Finds from the Era of David and Solomon

New Images from Khirbet Qeiyafa Excavations

The Oldest Hebrew Script and Language

Yosef Garfinkel. Another View: Christopher Rollston’s Methodology of Caution

The Great Minimalist Debate


Learn about this exciting site directly from excavation director Yosef Garfinkel:

In the DVD lecture The Sanctuary of Khirbet Qeiyafa: Judean Cult at the time of King David, Garfinkel presents the excavations at Khirbet Qeiyafa and their insights into the earliest Judean cult. Dating to the tenth century B.C.E.–the time of King David–Khirbet Qeiyafa is the only known fortified Judahite city of the era, and it continues to yield astounding finds. Recent excavations at the site have uncovered standing stones and small religious structures containing the earliest Jewish aniconic imagery. Watch as Garfinkel weaves new excavation data through traditional and contemporary Biblical scholarship to reshape our understanding of the development of Biblical Israel and early Jewish cultic practice. Take a tour through the city gates to the meeting point of Biblical history, historiography and archaeology. Find out more >>


* See Gerard Leval, “Ancient Inscription Refers to Birth of Israelite Monarchy,” BAR, May/June 2012; Yosef Garfinkel, “The Birth and Death of Biblical Minimalism,” BAR, May/June 2011; Hershel Shanks, “Newly Discovered: A Fortified City from King David’s Time,” BAR, January/February 2009.

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