Hebrew University archaeologist Yosef Garfinkel believes the discovery of the two fortified gates at Elah Fortress not only proves the existence of Sha'arayim named three times in the Bible in connection with David, but also suggests that the fortified city was part of a centralized government administered by King David.
Elah Fortress is the oldest known fortress of the biblical period. It dates to the tenth century B.C. The fortress is southwest of Jerusalem on what was the border between the Kingdom of Judea and the coast lands of the Philistines. The massive stone gate faces Jerusalem.
Garkinkel's team also found a 3,000-year-old pottery shard with five lines of text at the Elah Fortress. He believes the text provides evidence for the existence of a vast kingdom under David's rule. Garfinkel believes the site was the westernmost outpost maintained by the Kingdom of Judea, which controlled land in southwest Asia and Palestine before the Kingdom of Israel.
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