BAR 35:01, Jan/Feb 2009
Newly Discovered: A Fortified City from King David’s Time
Answers—and questions—at Khirbet Qeiyafa
Yossi Garfinkel has gone Biblical. After years of laboring in the pleasant orchards of prehistory, Yossi decided he needed a new and different site. The voluptuous (not to say zaftig) middle-aged goddesses of Sha’ar ha-Golan (a site about a mile south of the Sea of Galilee in the Jordan Valley) had long since lost their appeal to him. Now, in his maturity, Yossi felt he was ready for the bitter controversies and intense debates that pervade Biblical archaeology. So he chose a site on a hilltop overlooking the Elah Valley, where David met Goliath in mortal combat, according to 1 Samuel 17.
More formally known as Professor Yosef Garfinkel of the Hebrew University, Yossi first garnered the necessary support that any archaeological excavation requires. Then he enlisted as codirector Saar Ganor, a Hebrew University graduate student who works for the Israel Antiquities Authority and who first led Yossi to the site. Finally, at least figuratively, Yossi bought himself a new shovel. That was all he needed to go into the field (other