Archaeologists working at the Khirbet Qeiyafa excavation spot roughly 20 miles southwest of Jerusalem, believe they have found evidence of a biblical cult dating to the time of King David.
According to the official website for the excavation:
“Five seasons of excavation were carried out in 2007-2011, five areas of the site (Areas A-E) were examined, and nearly 20% of the city has been uncovered.”
The project has yielded hundreds of artifacts, which archaeologists claim closely follow the description of Solomon’s Temple, which is found in the Book of Kings.
Yosef Garfinkel, an archaeologist at Hebrew University, calls the find “extraordinary,” not only because it is the first time shrines from this time period were found, but also because two models found during the excavations, which were incredibly well-preserved, resemble closely elements found in the Bible.
The excavation, whose location is near the Valley of Ella, where, according to the Bible, an ancient group of Israelites camped when David killed Goliath.
Garfinkel described that the people were unique to other sites, as they appeared to stay away from graven images and pigs, both of which were prohibited by the Old Testament of the Bible. He states that:
“Over the years, thousands of animal bones were found, including sheep, goats and cattle, but no pigs. Now we uncovered three cultic rooms with various cultic paraphernalia, but not even one human or animal figurine was found.”
Other archaeologists, like Nadav Na’aman, are more skeptical. The Tel Aviv University archaeologist told Haaretz that:
“These are beautiful finds, but they are not special in that similar ones have been found in various places, and they should therefore not be connected in any way to the ark…The Canaanites also did not eat pork.”
Check out more information about Khirbet Qeiyafa here: