Archaeologist Eilat Mazar has uncovered what may have been the palace of King David. She has unearthed a massive public structure south of Jerusalem’s Temple Mount dating to the tenth century B.C., and a seal impression with the name of an administrative official mentioned in the Book of Jeremiah. She will detail these and other important finds from her dig in the next issue of BAR.
A significant debate engages archaeologists over whether Jerusalem was a mighty capital or a small, provincial town in the tenth century B.C., when David is said to have conquered Jerusalem. Mazar’s find will become an important element in that debate.
Mazar would like to expand her excavation of the building, but nearby dwellings on the site make that difficult.
“This is a very significant discovery ... this is one of the first greetings we have from the Jerusalem of David and Solomon,” archaeologist Gabriel Barkay, of Bar-Ilan University, told the New York Times.
The seal impression bears the name Yehochal ben [son of] Shelemiah ben Shani. Yehochal was a senior official in the court of Zedekiah (Jeremiah 37:3; 38:1).