Biblical Archaeology Review 20:2, March/April 1994

“David” Found at Dan

Inscription crowns 27 years of exciting discoveries

By Avraham Biran

It’s not often that an archaeological find makes the front page of the New York Times (to say nothing of Time magazine). But that is what happened last summer to a discovery at Tel Dan, a beautiful mound in northern Galilee, at the foot of Mt. Hermon beside one of the headwaters of the Jordan River.1

There Avraham Biran and his team of archaeologists2 found a remarkable inscription from the ninth century B.C.E. that refers both to the “House of David” and to the “King of Israel.” This is the first time that the name David has been found in any ancient inscription outside the Bible. That the inscription refers not simply to a “David” but to the House of David, the dynasty of the great Israelite king, is even more remarkable.

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