With the help of burrowing mole rats, archaeologists have found more evidence of King David’s reign. When the moles dig into the ground, they deposit the unearthed dirt around their hole and archaeologists will sift through this dirt to see what lies deeper down.
It was just such mounds that led to the discovery of the ancient city of Eglon, 30 miles south of Jerusalem, by Dr. Faust Yair Sapir of Bar-Ilan University.
Mentioned in Joshua, it was one of five Amorite cities that formed a league to resist Israel. The cities were defeated and Eglon was incorporated into the Tribe of Judah.
As they began their archaeological dig of the 15 acre site, they discovered evidence of its original Canaanite roots including a pottery bowl the Canaanites offered to their gods to protect their buildings. This along with radio carbon dating of coal and olive pits dated the original building to the 12th century BC.
Then they noticed the building was later rebuilt into a design unique to ancient Jews consisting of a courtyard surrounded by three rooms. Since no other culture used that design, when they find a house constructed in this way it reveals its Jewish roots.
This revealed the city’s transition from a Canaanite community to a Jewish one reflecting Israel’s take over of the region.
In an interview with Breaking Israel News, Dr Faust said:
“We, of course, did not find any artifacts that said ‘King David’ or ‘King Solomon’ but we discovered site signs of a social transformation in the region which are consistent with a change from Canaanite culture to a Judean culture.”
Since it took place at a time we believed the Kingdom of David began to spread into this region it is clear this building was part of the events in the Bible ascribed to the Kingdom of David.”
Other Jewish objects were discovered including loom weights and pottery. But just as significantly, they also discovered Assyrian arrowheads. This is significant because it confirms the Biblical record that states the Assyrians conquered the area around 720 BC.
Incredibly a handful of archaeologists are still denying that King David actually existed and though the Eglon archaeologists did not find any graffiti on a bathroom wall stating “King David was here,” they found evidence marking its transition from a Canaanite city to a Jewish one just as the Biblical record says took place.
Most archaeologists gave up the fight denying King David’s existence in 1993 with the discovery of the Tel Dan Stele. Steles were monuments usually made of stone that were erected in ancient societies to make important announcements.
Found in Northern Israel, this stele was created by King Hazael of Aram. On the monument, Hazael boasts of his victory over the King of Israel and king of the House of David (Judah). After David’s death, Israel split up into Judah and Israel around 900 BC during the reign of King Solomon’s son, Rehoboam.
This stele on display at Jerusalem’s Israel Museum has one of Israel’s hated enemies proclaiming the existence of King David and his reign. Because of this and other finds, most archaeologists are grudgingly admitting the Bible is right about King David.