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Israeli Archaeologist Claims King David’s Citadel has been Found

An Israeli archaeologist believes he has found the Citadel which was captured by King David in his conquest of Jerusalem, Christian Today reports.

The report quotes a Washington Post interview with Archaeologist Eli Shukron, saying, “This is the citadel of King David, this is the Citadel of Zion, and this is what King David took from the Jebusites.”

Shukron recently left Israel’s Antiquities Authority to work as a lecturer and tour guide. His £5.9 million excavation began in 1995 and was made accessible to tourists last month.

The excavation site reveals a fortification made up of five-ton stones stacked in a six metre wide arrangement, surrounding a narrow shaft where water from a natural spring would have been diverted into a carved pool.

These constructions represent the second largest buildings of their kind in the area, only beaten by the Second Jewish Temple constructed by King Herod in approximately 100 BC.

Pottery shards found around the site have been dated to 1800 BC, meaning that the building was constructed 800 years before David's conquest.

Mr. Shukron believes that this matches the citadel that David is described as capturing in the Old Testament book of 2 Samuel. According to the text, David's soldiers are ordered to enter the walled city via the water channel.

But not all the archaeologists working on the site agree with Mr. Shukron's conclusions. Ronny Reich, who was Mr. Shukron's colleague on the dig until 2008, believes that more pottery from the time of David's conquest should have been found.

In the Washington Post, Mr. Reich said: "The connection between archaeology and the Bible has become very, very problematic in recent years."

The excavation has been controversial because it has been funded in part by the Jewish nationalist organization, the Ir David Foundation, which funds the construction of guarded homes for Jews in Arab areas of eastern Jerusalem.

Publication Date: May 6, 2014.