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David and Solomon’s Jerusalem

“Among the most controversial issues in both Biblical archaeology and Biblical studies is the nature of Jerusalem in the tenth century B.C.E. Why the tenth century? Because in the Bible that is the time of Israel’s glory, the time of King David and King Solomon, the time of the United Kingdom of Judah and Israel.”

Jane Cahill (now Jane Cahill West)

We’ve selected several articles on Jerusalem in this exciting period to highlight the archaeological evidence for the city in the time of David and Solomon. The articles below were hand-selected by the Biblical Archaeology Review editors especially for members of the BAS Library.

2 Samuel 5:11 tells us that Hiram of Tyre (who would later help King Solomon build the Temple) constructed the palace for David: “King Hiram of Tyre sent envoys to David, with cedar logs, carpenters and stonemasons; and they built a palace for David.” Jerusalem archaeologist Eilat Mazar’s “Did I Find King David’s Palace?” details the discovery of a Large-Stone Structure built around 1000 B.C.E., or about the time that the Bible tells us that King David conquered Jerusalem from the Jebusites/Canaanites.

Jane Cahill’s “Jerusalem in David and Solomon’s Time” explores the extensive archaeological remains of tenth-century Jerusalem from the area known as the City of David. Tracing the city back to its earliest roots, she explores the city’s archaeology back from the United Monarchy to the Middle Bronze Age.

Hershel Shanks’s “Jerusalem Roundup” explores the latest and most exciting finds in Jerusalem archaeology. Discussing the location of Solomon’s palace, Jerusalem’s earliest known inscription and the monumental walls that protected the King Solomon’s city, Hershel Shanks covers the dramatic new finds that are reshaping our understanding of the city’s early history.

This period in Jerusalem’s history is the subject of a great deal of archaeological discussion. Some point to the City of David finds as evidence of a bustling city while others believe that the city didn’t even exist during David’s lifetime. A debate composed of three articles explores the archaeological and textual evidence for and against the existence of a thriving Jerusalem during the United Monarchy. Margreet Steiner suggests that there is little archaeological evidence of tenth-century Jerusalem, while Jane Cahill counters with archaeological evidence and Nadav Na’aman counters with Egyptian textual records referring to Jerusalem.


Did I Find King David’s Palace?

BAR 32:01, Jan/Feb 2006
By Eilat Mazar

Jerusalem in David and Solomon’s Time

BAR 30:06, Nov/Dec 2004
By Jane Cahill

Jerusalem Roundup

BAR 37:02, Mar/Apr 2011
By Hershel Shanks

David’s Jerusalem: Fiction or Reality?: It Is There: The Archaeological Evidence Proves It

BAR 24:04, Jul/Aug 1998
By Jane Cahill

David’s Jerusalem: Fiction or Reality?: It Is There: Ancient Texts Prove It

BAR 24:04, Jul/Aug 1998
By Nadav Na’aman

David’s Jerusalem: Fiction or Reality?: It’s Not There: Archaeology Proves a Negative

BAR 24:04, Jul/Aug 1998
By Margreet Steiner