Hard on the heels of the announcement of a 10th century BCE Hebrew inscription on a pottery shard found near Elah [see the Hedgehog post dated Jan. 11, 2010] comes another important discovery relevant to the accuracy of the Biblical narrative regarding the Kings David and Solomon. Israeli archeaologist Eilat Mazar announced today that recently excavated fortifications in Jerusalem date back 3000 years to the time of King Solomon. If she is correct, the the finding would indicate that Jerusalem was home to a strong central government that had the resources and manpower needed to build massive fortifications in the 10th century B.C. Consequently, like the Elah shard, this discovery would substantiate the accuracy of the Biblical narrative, and weaken the arguments of the revisionist archaeologists who posit that David's monarchy was largely mythical and that there was no strong government to speak of in that era.
The fortifications, including a monumental gatehouse and a 77-yard (70-meter) long section of an ancient wall, are located just outside the present-day walls of Jerusalem's Old City. Ms. Mazar appears in the photo above standing at the foot of the wall exposed by her dig. Additional photographs and a news account, as well as a video interview of Ms. Mazar regarding her discovery may be found at Israel National News here.
It will be interesting to see if the architectural features of the gate house resemble the six-chambered gates discovered in the 1950s and 1960s by Israeli archaeologist and general Yigael Yadin in Megiddo, Hazor and Gezer. Yadin theorized that the similarity of those three gates provided evidence of a strong central kingdom that had constructed fortifications in all three cities based on a standard design.