Monday, October 10, 2022

The City of David - History Mystery

City of David

The City of David is a very famous excavation site in Jerusalem. About one million people visit this National Park every year. It is an archaeological site that reveals the birthplace of Jerusalem. This place allows you to experience ancient Jerusalem.

You can enjoy Warren’s Shaft, old water systems like Hezekiah’s Tunnel and the Second Temple Shiloah pool. Besides, the location can offer extra family-friendly attractions, festivals, concerts, guided tours etc during festivals. You can see old stories taking shape and coming to life before their eyes. Is Jerusalem the City Of David? Let's know about it.

What is the City of David?

The City of David is a biblical and religious epithet of the old city of Jerusalem. It can denote an archaeological location linked with ancient Jerusalem. This name indicates an archaeological site is considered by most scholars. It is the actual settlement core of Jerusalem during the Bronze and Iron Ages. This location is located on the southern part of the eastern ridge of ancient Jerusalem, West of the Kidron Valley and east of the Tyropoeon valley, to the immediate south of the Temple Mount.

It is an important part of biblical archeology. People found the rest of the defensive network around the Gihon Spring back to the Middle Bronze Age. In addition, people continued using them throughout subsequent periods.

Two monumental Iron Age structures are called the Large Stone Structure and the Stepped Stone Structure. A debate between scholars is that if these can be identified with David or dated to a later period. It is home to the Siloam Tunnel, made by Hezekiah during the late eighth century BCE in preparation for an Assyrian siege.

But according to the current excavations at the site, it has an old origin in the late 9th or early 8th century BCE. Besides, other remaining spots include the Pool of Siloam, and the Stepped Street stretches from the pool to the Temple Mount.

Nowadays, the excavated parts of the archeological site belong to the Jerusalem Walls National Park. Israel Nature and Parks Authority manage the site, on the other hand the Ir David Foundation operates it. This place is located in Wadi Hilweh, an extension of the Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan, East Jerusalem, intertwined with an Israeli settlement.

Where is the City Of David?

It is located on a rocky spur south of the Temple Mount and outside the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem. The place is located as the southeastern ridge of old Jerusalem. Descending from the Dung Gate, the hill goes toward the Gihon Spring and the Pool of Siloam. It is a portion of the Palestinian neighborhood and former village of Silwan. The position was on the slopes of the southern part of the Mount of Olives, east of the City of David.

The village expanded West and crossed the valley to the eastern hill in the 20th century. Before 1948, it was called Wadi al-Nabah in Arabic. Later, it was renamed to Wadi al-Hilweh after the wife of the local mukhtar who was killed in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.

Naming of City of David:

The origin of the term is in the biblical narrative where David, the Israelite king, conquers Jerusalem, called Jebus, from the Jebusites. His conquest is described two times in the Bible— in the Books of Samuel and the Books of Chronicles. These versions vary in specific details.

The Bible's reliability for the period's history is one debate topic among scholars. The Hebrew Bible says that the name was applied to Jerusalem after its conquest by David c. 1000 BCE. Ensure that you must not confuse its name with the new organization. It displays tiny excavated portions of the bigger town.

Israeli authorities denote this town as the City of David, while most Palestinian Arab residents mean this as Wadi al-Hilweh. Rannfrid Thelle wrote that the title favors the Jewish national agenda. In addition, it appeals to Christian supporters.

It is older than the Old City of Jerusalem. You need to walk for two minutes from the Western Wall, the location of the ancient city in Biblical studies. It makes this town an important archaeological site in Israel. Remember that it is the location of the biggest number of archaeological expeditions.

Several Attractions for the Whole Family:

The City of David National Park Visitor Center can provide different attractions, tours, and surprises. These are unavailable anywhere. You can take a walking tour through an old underground water tunnel and have an archaeological experience at the Emek Tzurim National Park sifting project. In addition, you can enjoy the nighttime presentation Hallelujah. It takes help of progressed projection technology to ask about the old Jerusalem story. Besides, it may be a famous tourist attraction for families. This location is full of different visitor's centers, 3D exhibitions, and so on.

The Revival of the City Of David Jerusalem:

Ir David Foundation, called Elad, is a Hebrew acronym indicating the city of David. It was set up in1986 to strengthen the Jewish connection to Jerusalem. The foundation wants to set up and renew the Jewish community in the town. In 1991, a new Jewish community emerged. Until now, about 30 Jewish families have appeared alongside the Arab families there.

Archaeological Sites:

The Gihon Spring: You can see this lying on Jerusalem's southeastern hill of the eastern slope aka the City of David. It is why the town first emerged at this certain spot.

You should remember that above it was found a vast town wall. People use this to identify the old settlement's place. The old water systems which are attached to the Gihon Spring are natural, masonry-built, and rock-cut structures, such as:

The Spring Tower: It is a natural shaft that people thought of as a water supply system. Besides, people thought that it couldn't be accessed during the time attributed to King David.

The Siloam Channel: It is a Canaanite (Bronze Age) water system that preceded the Siloam Tunnel. This one is called Hezekiah's Tunnel. It is an Iron Age water supply system where you found the Siloam inscription.

The Siloam Pool: There are two pools attached and the upper one comes from the Byzantine time at the Siloam Tunnel's entryway. The other one is the lower pool founded recently. It is dated to the Hasmonean portion of the Second Temple Period.

Giv'ati Parking Lot excavations: It extends over an area of about 5 dunams (1.2 acres). 

Many built structures exist within the area and these are spread over excavated sections— Area A, B, C ... including:

  • The Large Stone Structure 
  • The Stepped Stone Structure 
  • City walls and towers, houses, a columbarium, 
  • The Jerusalem Water Channel, a large drainage system 
  • A monumental stepped street. Second Temple-period pilgrims use it. 
In addition, this one is made over the Jerusalem Water Channel.

Other Locations:

King's Garden (excavated by Bliss and Dickie).

Excavations and Scholarly Views:

The old site of the town depends on a long spur facing north-south. Besides, it extends outside the wall of the old town, south of its southeastern corner, in the southern part of the eastern ridge adjacent to the Gihon Spring. You should know that it can reveal a lot of interesting archeological finds of the old world. However, the spot is an activity center.

Keep in mind that it was an old epicenter of Jerusalem. Its boundaries are expanded from the Temple Mount north and southward to the Pool of Siloam. It includes the place marking Kidron brook in the east and near dale in the West.

The settlement started in the Chalcolithic period and the Early Bronze Age.

However, it isn't called by the name. According to the Old Testament, Jebus was exchanged by this name after the conquest of Jerusalem. Solomon, son of David, stretched the wall to the north. Then, he included the Temple Mount area, where he made an edifice for the God of his fathers. The town started expanding westward beyond the dale from the eighth century BCE.

People are able to recognize the site on the hill southeast of the Old City with Jebus and later the Jerusalem City of David. It started in the late 19th century with the excavations of Charles Warren and Hermann Guthe. The 1909–11 work of Louis-Hugues Vincent and Montagu Brownlow Parker detected the oldest popular settlement traces in the Jerusalem region. It suggested that the place was an ancient settlement core in Jerusalem back to the Bronze Age. In 2015, a report on Israeli archaeology asked that the National tAcademy of Sciences criticize the political use of archeology.

Finds by Period:

Chalcolithic (4500–3500 BCE):

The remaining Chalcolithic comes with bits of pottery found in clefts in the bedrock by Macalister and Duncan. It set up different places where the bedrock had been cut in other methods.

Early Bronze Age (3500–2350 BCE):

Pieces of pottery have been found.

Middle Bronze Age (2000–1550 BCE):

Jerusalem is mentioned in Egyptian texts from the 19th–18th centuries BCE.

Late Bronze Age (1550–1200 BCE):

The Canaanite city wall faces the Kidron Valley.


It is the actual hilltop. King David dedicated old Jerusalem upon this as his capital 3,000 years ago. A report leaked in 2018 asked that the European Union become a tourist place. According to the statement of Rafi Greenberg, archaeological practice is subsumed entirely by political and corporate motivations.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q. Which city is called the City of David?

Jerusalem is acquainted as the City of David.

Q. Where is the City of David now?

The city of David today is southeast of the Old City, on Ophel Hill near the Western Wall. This one is now below the Arab village of Silwan.

Q. What religion is the City of David?

The Jewish community is the religion that is aimed to be established.

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