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Location of King David's Citadel Lines Up With the Bible "Perfectly" Says Archaeologist

Teresa Neumann : May 6, 2014  Staff – AP

"Before there was a city of Jerusalem, there was a spring" - and that spring, the Spring of Gihon, captured from the Jebusites from David, is where King Solomon was anointed. Today it's called The Citadel of David, or the Spring Citadel.

citadel(Israel)—Eli Shukron is an Israeli archaeologist who has made a name for himself for unearthing several major ancient discoveries in Israel. In 2004, for example, he and fellow archaeologist Ronny Reich excavated the Pool of Siloam. A few years later, he helped unearth an ancient Jerusalem water channel and pilgrim road. Most recently, Shukron has been credited for his work in unveiling the legendary Citadel of David. To understand what exactly the Citadel of David is, one most go back—way back—in history. (Photo via USA Today)

"Before there was a city of Jerusalem, there was a spring," explained Donna Spielman, vice-president of The City of David Foundation. That spring—known as Gihon Spring—was located just outside today's Old City's walls, encompassed within the City of David National Park, close to the Western Wall plaza.

Announcing the opening of the historic discovery, The City of David website added: "With the culmination of fifteen years of archaeological excavations, defined as one of the most complex and unique projects ever conducted in Israel, a Canaanite fortress with gigantic dimensions has finally been exposed, dating back to the 18th century BC. …The Spring Citadel protects the Biblical Gihon Springs with a huge fortification which isolates access to the spring, making it possible to reach the waters of the Gihon from the west only, from within the city. This is the largest fortress found in all of Israel to date between the Canaanite cities from the aforementioned period, and it seems that it is essentially the largest fortress found in Israel until the days of King Herod.

citadelAccording to Samuel II, Chapter 5, King David conquered the 'Fortress of Zion' from the hands of the Jebusite king. The extensive excavation raises a new understanding; it is possible that the verse is actually referring to this impressive fortress, which David’s warriors penetrated when entering to conquer Jerusalem from the Jebusites. The beginning of the book of Kings I describes the anointing of King Solomon 'on the Gihon' by Nathan the prophet and Zadok the priest. This ceremony apparently took place right here, at the heart of the Spring Citadel, above the flowing Gihon Spring." (Photo via FOX News)

The discovery, however, has also reportedly re-sparked the ire of some who resent the Bible being used to help find and identify ancient ruins; ruins in which King David, in particular, is associated because of the claim his ancient kingdom makes to modern day Israel, even though most archaeologists agree that King David was undisputedly an historical figure.

The archaeological politicizing was picked up in an AP report which noted that the excavation "took place in an Arab neighborhood of Jerusalem and was financed by an organization that settles Jews in guarded homes in Arab areas of east Jerusalem in an attempt to prevent the city from being divided. The Palestinians claim east Jerusalem, captured by Israel in 1967, as the capitol of a future independent state."

In addition, fellow archaeologist Ronnie Reich was quoted as disagreeing with Shukron's definitive conclusion of the citadel's site, saying "The connection between archaeology and the Bible has become very, very problematic in recent years."

But Shukron stands firm in his belief. "This is the citadel of King David," he insisted. "This is the Citadel of Zion, and this is what King David took from the Jebusites. The whole site we can compare to the Bible perfectly... I know every little thing in the City of David. I didn't see in any other place such a huge fortification as this."

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