Finkelstein v. Garfinkel: The ‘Ir David’ Smackdown

I’d love to be there for this:

Under the auspices of the Israel Nature and Parks Authority, the Israel Antiquities Authority, the Elad organization, and leading archaeologists, excavations take place year round in the City of David and vicinity, with hundreds of workers and volunteers. The enormous amount of work on this small area produces results that literally change the history books every year and percolate throughout the international academic world. This year will make its mark as well.

Events of the 10th Century BCE have been in the public and academic eyes in recent years. Two key protagonists in this discussion will face off by addressing different aspects of their research which directly and indirectly relate to David and Solomon’s Jerusalem.

Prof. Israel Finkelstein (Tel Aviv University) will analyze several major structures generally considered to be hard evidence of David’s City. His surgical analysis stone by stone and confrontation of academic paper by academic paper will certainly shake up and perhaps demolish conventional assumptions, throwing a stumbling block in front of easy explanations and diagrams.

Taking the other side of this debate, Prof. Yosef Garfinkel (Hebrew University of Jerusalem) will present a brand-new median theory of the Judean Kingdom’s origins and historical precedence based on his recent excavations at Elah Fortress – Khirbet Qeiyafa, overlooking the Elah Valley where David and Goliath fought. Garfinkel believes the mighty 10th century BCE fortifications, extensive pottery, carbon-14 analysis, ancient writing, text-related features, and other findings of his four excavation seasons now shed new light on other sites and together draw a picture of a regional polity in this region and this period which cannot be ignored.

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