More proof that Khirbet Qeiyafa was part of Judea, not Canaan
On Monday I discussed the new archaeological findings that indicated a palace that could have belonged to King David in Khirbet Qeiyafa. Some articles expressed skepticism, saying that it could have been from some other kingdom.
The archaeologist, Yossi Garfinkel, describes six proofs that indicate that this is Judean:
- The urban planning of the city mimics that of other undoubtedly Judean cities, like Beit Shemesh and Beersheva.
- As I mentioned, it clearly wasn’t Philistine because no pig bones were found, and 20% of bones at Philistine sites are pig bones.
- Most of the metal tools found were made of iron. Canaanite tools were bronze.
- Religious relics were found, but none of them depicted human figures, in line with Jewish law. Canaanite and other kingdoms in the area would depict goddesses and other human figures.
- Circular depressions in the jar handles are uniquely Judean and is a hallmark of Jewish pottery for hundreds of years afterwards.
- Writings found there indicate Hebrew, the earliest known Hebrew writing so far.
Unique features of the palace include double walls, indicating multiple stories; a location in the center of the town with a great view, and a size of 1000 square meters, dwarfing all the other houses in the city.
What this all proves is that around 1000 BCE thee was a centralized kingdom of Judah with the ability to build fortified cities, collect taxes and manage long-term trade relations with places like Cyprus and Egypt.
The article also goes into the disagreements between archaeologists on how much to believe Biblical accounts when deciding on the importance of a find. It is a nice piece; I hope that it gets translated.