Friday, July 13, 2007

Biblical archaeology update King David’s Tomb: A Different Perspective
Dr. Ari Zivotofsky’s well-presented article “What’s the Truth about … King David’s Tomb?” addresses the question of the true location of King David’s Tomb from a Biblical as well as an archaeological perspective. In the article, Dr. Zivotofsky emphatically states that “the area known today as Mount Zion was not part of inhabited Jerusalem in King David’s time, and it is highly improbable that he was buried there.” The Bible tells us that “…the City of David is Zion” (1 Kings 8:1) and that “David slept with his fathers, and was buried in the City of David” (1 Kings 2:10). If, as Dr. Zivotofsky claims, the present-day Mount Zion was uninhabited during the time of King David, then it is not only highly improbable, but quite clearly impossible that King David was buried there.

But what evidence is there that present-day Mount Zion was not inhabited during the reign of King David? The answer is that since no evidence of occupation during the era of King David has been discovered there, that proves it was not occupied at that time. In other words, the absence of evidence is evidence of absence! This is a very dangerous stance to take with regard to the archaeology of Jerusalem.

Make of it what you will. Though I found this interesting:
A tel is a mound that consists of a layer of ruins built upon other layers of ruins. Jerusalem is not a tel in the traditional sense of the word; it’s a city of hills with bedrock a few feet below the surface. In some places bedrock even protrudes above the land surface. This is because when an inhabited area was destroyed, the conquerors would remove the debris all the way down to the bedrock and build anew.

That is not something I was aware of, if true. Of course, even if "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence" it's not evidence of presence either.