Excavations in the Judean city of Tel Eton have revealed exciting new evidence that may shed light on the biblical kingdom of King David and King Solomon, according to Israeli researchers.
The archaeologists from Bar Ilan University working on an archeologic dig have discovered the remains of a massive two-story, 3,000-year-old house in a central region of Israel called the Judean Shephelah, east of the Hebron hills. The findings may scientifically confirm the existence of the biblical kingdom reigned over by King David and King Solomon as described in the Hebrew Bible.
The archaeologists worked at a location now known as Tel Eton, in modern-day Israel. They believe that the design and size of the ruins indicate the existence of a building used for a fully functional government. Given that dating, estimated to be around 3,000 years ago, the Tel Eton findings lend credence to the theory that this was a central site during the time of King David and King Solomon.
Crucially, the style of four-room house, common in central parts of David’s kingdom, is not found outside modern-day Israel. It was built in a city that was then at the edge of Israelite territory, right around the same time the Bible records that Israel’s power was expanding. Therefore, this discovery indicates a growth of territory at a time that the bible also documents an expanding kingdom.
Prof. Avraham Faust’s team from Bar-Ilan University have been digging at the Tel Eton site for around ten years. It is thought that the Tel Eton may be the site of the biblical city of Eglon. The biblical book of Joshua records that Eglon was a city of Canaanites who fought against Israel, and its king was one of the five kings of the Amorites (Joshua 10). Under Joshua, the Israelites conquered many cities, including Eglon, and took the territory as belonging to the tribe of Judah (Joshua 15:20, 39).
The new discovery at Tel Eton suggests that the highland kingdom of Judah supervised significantly larger areas than believed by some scholars. The uncovering of what Faust and his team term a “governor’s residency” was not an easy process, with the remains showing signs of having been attacked sometime in the late eighth century BCE by Assyrian forces. Because of this, much of the focus was on this time period. Only later did evidence emerge that the site was built during the 10th century BCE.
After Jerusalem and Khirbet Qeiyafa, Tel Eton is the third major site linked to King David. The discovery comes after a string of recent revelations from all over Israel regarding the ancient roots of the Jewish people in the Land of Israel