Biblical Archaeology Review 29:3, May/June 2003

The Mistress of Stratigraphy Had Clay Feet

Kathleen Kenyon’s Flawed Jerusalem Excavation

Much as armies through the centuries have battled over Jerusalem, so scholars have fought over its history. What, for example, was Jerusalem like in the tenth century B.C.E., a period that the Bible describes as the time of Israel’s glory, the age of the United Monarchy, when David and Solomon ruled over Israel and Judah? Despite the Biblical picture of a period of wealth and power, the archaeological evidence from that time is sparse. Some so-called Biblical minimalists have questioned the very existence of the United Monarchy and even of David and Solomon.

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