3,000-year-old artifacts reveal history behind biblical David and Goliath

Yosef Garfinkel, an archaeologist at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, shows off a stone shrine model that was found during excavations at Khirbet Qeiyafa, an ancient settlement southwest of Jerusalem.Hebrew University of Jerusalem
An archaeological dig near Goliath’s biblical hometown has yielded evidence of Judean religious practices 3,000 years ago, pointing up fresh historical connections to the stories of King David and King Solomon.
“We have a city with a population relating to the Kingdom of Judah,” Yosef Garfinkel, an archaeologist at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, told me today. “This is totally different from Philistine, Canaanite or the cult in the Kingdom of Israel.”
The site, known today as Khirbet Qeiyafa, is about 20 miles (30 kilometers) southwest of Jerusalem, on top of a hill overlooking the Valley of Elah. For the past five years, Garfinkel and his colleagues have been excavating the ruins of a fortified city there, situated across from what was once the Philistine city of Gath. In the Bible, the giant Goliath came out from Gath to face the Israelites, and was smitten by a rock hurled from David’s sling.
Garfinkel can’t vouch for the story of Goliath, but he says the weapons, the cult items and even the animal bones found around Khirbet Qeiyafa support his view that the settlement was a key military outpost for the historical House of David, riven by conflict. “There was something here quite military and quite aggressive,” he said. “It was not a peaceful village.”
Based on radiocarbon dating of burned olive pits found at the site, archaeologists believe the ancient city lasted for only 40 years, from 1020 to 980 B.C., before it was destroyed. Some skeptics have suggested that Khirbet Qeiyafa was just another Canaanite settlement, and that David was at best a minor chieftain, or perhaps a folkloric figure like Robin Hood. But Garfinkel said the items found at the site strengthen the connection to King David and the religious practices specified in the Bible.
“Over the years, thousands of animal bones were found, including sheep, goats and cattle, but no pigs,” he said in a news release from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. “Now we uncovered three cultic rooms, with various cultic paraphernalia, but not even one human or animal figurine was found. This suggest that the population on Khirbet Qeiyafa observed two biblical bans — on pork and on graven images — and thus practiced a different cult from that of the Canaanites or the Philistines.”
Garfinkel told me that the absence of human imagery was peculiar to the Judeans. “In the northern Kingdom of Israel, you find human representations,” he said.

Source: https://www.nbcnews.com/sciencemain/3-000-year-old-artifacts-reveal-history-behind-biblical-david-761720

Related: Strange but true: Physics explains how David slew Goliath

Question: In the classic biblical confrontation, how did little David manage to defeat Goliath using just a sling?

Answer: For 40 days the giant Philistine had challenged the Israelis, but none had dared take up the fight until David stepped forth. He chose five smooth stones from a brook and walked into range, keeping safe because Goliath’s sword was useless at such a wide separation, says Jearl Walker in “The Flying Circus of Physics.” David slung the first stone that hit with such momentum it burrowed into the giant’s forehead. The sling had a flexible pocket with two straps attached, made taut by pulling it in a vertical circle several times to build up kinetic energy. Then the knotted strap was released, sending the stone toward the target. The sling could hurl a stone of 25 grams (about 1 oz.) at 100 kilometers per hour (62 mph) to hit something 200 meters (656 ft.) or more away.

In some battles, the weapon proved more valuable than bow and arrow, for even if an enemy soldier wore leather armor, a stone could inflict lethal internal damage whereas an arrow might just be deflected. A sling was also more accurate and its projectile could travel farther. So the slingers were often grouped behind the archers, who needed to be closer to the enemy to be effective.

Source: https://www.deseret.com/2007/7/19/20030276/strange-but-true-physics-explains-how-david-slew-goliath

By: Miss Cherry May Timbol – Independent Reporter

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