Photo Credit: Yaniv Berman, City of David Foundation
Archaeologists Prof. Yuval Gadot and Dr. Joe Uziel of the research team.

A comprehensive scientific study conducted by the Israel Antiquities Authority, Tel Aviv University, and the Weizmann Institute of Science has linked events mentioned in the Bible to archaeological findings unearthed in the city of David. The research, published this week in the journal PNAS (Radiocarbon chronology of Iron Age Jerusalem reveals calibration offsets and architectural developments), challenges some accepted perceptions of the construction of Jerusalem during the reigns of the kings of Judah.

The researchers accurately dated the walls built in Jerusalem during the First Temple period and identified areas of extensive construction during the reign of the kings of Judah. This made it possible to correlate the biblical descriptions of royal construction in Jerusalem and the actual buildings uncovered in excavations over the past few decades in the City of David.

The First Temple Period City fortification. The Study has revealed that it was built in the days of Uzziah and not by Hezekiah. / Illustration by Leonardo Gurevich, City of David Archive

The research, which lasted almost a decade at the excavation of the City of David National Park, was funded by the City of David Foundation (Elad) and the Israel Science Foundation.

The research presents more than 100 radiocarbon dates taken from four different excavation areas throughout the City of David, on the eastern and western slopes of the ancient city. These dates were obtained by sampling organic finds such as grape seeds, date pits, and even bat skeletons found in one of the structures. All of these underwent characterization and cleaning processes in a lab, and after being converted to graphite, were inserted into a particle accelerator that moves at a speed of 3000 km per second, separating the carbon-14 from the organic material. Measuring the amount of carbon in the organic material and calculating it together with other variables allowed the researchers to accurately date many City of David findings.

The City of David archaeological dig. / Gil Filibe, City of David Archive

Researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science used ancient European tree rings to create a precise timeline of single-year dates, from which it is possible to accurately learn about fluctuations in the percentage of carbon-14 in the atmosphere. This allowed for much more accurate dating, helping to scientifically reconstruct the history of Jerusalem from 1200 BCE – before the days of David and Solomon according to the biblical description – to the Babylonian destruction in 586 BCE.

Prof. Yuval Gadot of Tel Aviv University said, “The new research allows us to study the development of the city. Until now, most researchers have linked Jerusalem’s growth westward to the period of King Hezekiah, just over 2700 years ago. The conventional assumption to date has been that the city expanded due to the arrival of refugees from the Kingdom of Israel in the north, following the Assyrian exile.

Dr. Joe Uziel, Dr. Filip Vukosavovich and Ortal Chalaf who exposed the walls of ancient Jerusalem. / Kobi Harati, City of David Foundation

“However, the new findings support the view that Jerusalem had already grown in size and spread toward Mount Zion in the 9th century BCE, during the reign of King Jehoash, a hundred years before the Assyrian exile. The new research shows that the expansion of Jerusalem was a result of internal Judean demographic growth and the establishment of political and economic systems.”

Another discovery of the study is that the wall of Jerusalem, uncovered in several excavations on the eastern slopes of the city of David, is older than the date that was commonly accepted until now. Dr. Joe Uziel of the IAA explained, “For decades, it was assumed that this wall was built by Hezekiah, King of Judah, but it is now becoming clear that it dates back to the days of King Uzziah, as described by the Bible: ‘And Uzziah built towers in Jerusalem… and strengthened them’ (2 Chronicles 26:9).”

The bat skull that assisted in dating a building of ancient Jerusalem. / Yaniv Berman, City of David Foundation

Said Dr. Uziel, “Until now, many researchers have assumed that the wall was built by Hezekiah during his rebellion against Sennacherib, King of Assyria, to defend Jerusalem during the Assyrian siege. It is now apparent that the wall in its eastern part, in the area of the City of David, was built earlier, shortly after the great earthquake in Jerusalem, and as part of the reconstruction of the city during the reign of King Uzziah. After the construction of the wall and until the Babylonian destruction, the city continued to grow and prosper.”

The new research shows that magnificent buildings and residences were first built in the 9th–8th centuries BCE, which remained in use continuously until 586 BCE when the city suffered the destruction that ended the Kingdom of Judah.


Previous articleWord Prompt – FLOWERS – JJ Eleff
Next articleSCOTUS And Trump’s Immunity
David writes news at