Archeologists Claim to Find King David's City

This video, posted in 2012, summarizes some 5 years of Dr. Yosef Garfinkel’s excavations on a hill walled hillfort in the Elah Valley  (“the valley of the terebinth” - עמק האלה)

The dig site, also known as Horbat Qayafa חורבת קייאפה or Khirbet Aeiyafa (خربة قيافة), has been surveyed by various archaeologists since 1860. 

For a gallery of panoramic views and other ancient sites, check out the photos in the valley Gallery and Khirbet Qeiyafa page; for example this aerial photo, which shows the hilltop city and the surrounding walls. 

Khirbet Qeiyafa is thought to date from around 1025 - 975 BCE or early Iron IIA, and its walled ruins have been identified with ancient cities like Sha'araim (1 Samuel 17:42). The dig site is also one of several ancient fortified cities in the Elah Valley, including Tel Azekah, Tel Sokho, Tel Adullam, and Tel Yarmut.

The video notes key pieces of evidence used for dating and identification, and one of the most intriguing finds might be the Khirbet Qeiyafa ostracon. The ostracon is a pottery fragment (potsherd) measuring 5.9 inches × 6.5 inches; it has 5 lines of written text. When Dr. Garfinkel discusses the linguistic evidence for his findings, the ostracon is what he’s referring to.

Since its discovery in 2008, scholars have sought to transcribe and translate the text. Viewers can view the potsherd and different transcriptions and translations of the text fragment here, for comparison with Dr. Garfinkel’s conclusions on the language and its meaning.

As this video and the video description note, these Khirbet Qeiyafa findings have sparked differing conclusions. With much of the evidence available online or in museums, viewers have the opportunity to explore the ancient mysteries of Khirbet Qeiyafa for themselves.


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