Thursday, July 19, 2007

The Tomb of King David

A few nights ago I was reading Hershel Shanks' case (not online) for David's tomb being the rock-hewn shafts excavated by Raymond Weill.  I think he's wrong, but I think he has presented the best case that can be made.  And he can't be far off geographically.

The traditional tomb of David is far off geographically, but it is the subject of a recent article that argues that it is authentic.  Most who hold to the Mount Zion location being accurate are ultra-Orthodox Jews who follow tradition without regard for the evidence.  This article, however, tries to make an intelligent case.  It fails, but if I was teaching Jerusalem archaeology now, I'd require my students to critique it as a useful exercise in thinking about what we know and don't know about ancient Jerusalem.  I'm not going to comment on it myself, but if someone else takes up the challenge (and does a worthy job), I'll either link to it or post it here.

UPDATE (8/6): Joe Lauer has mentioned below a previous article in the same publication on the tomb of David.  This article, by Ari Zivotofsky, is worth reading for any who want to know more about the subject. 

Tomb of David interior with cenotaph, tb070807983
The traditional tomb of David on Mount Zion



  • What a wonderful blog you have here! I am fairly new at blogging, but I have one over at blogspot. I use it for keeping track of the latest news and views with special attention to stories coming out of Israel and the middle east.
    P.S. Oh.. here is my address if you want to stop by

    By Blogger Bee, at Mon Jul 30, 02:10:00 PM  

  • Todd, did you check out the article that R. Leibel Reznick was responding to?
    It's "What’s the Truth about … King David’s Tomb?" by R. Ari Zivotofsky and is at
    Be well!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Aug 04, 10:09:00 PM  

  • If you follow this link you will find a well written dialogue style article supporting the traditions of Mt Zion and King David's Tomb.

    It goes much farther than Reznick in bringing together historical and textual evidence and giving an alternative reading to the archeological evidence.

    By Blogger Rabbi Nathan Glick, at Fri Aug 13, 03:10:00 AM  

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