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3,800-Year-Old Fortress Uncovered in City of David

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3,800-Year-Old Fortress Uncovered in City of David

Friday, April 4, 2014


The biggest fortress ever uncovered in Israel from the pre-Herod period was inaugurated on Tuesday [Apr. 1] in a secret ceremony. The fortress, that was built some 3,800 years ago, was uncovered during a 15-year archeological dig in the City of David, one of the most complex and unique digs ever done in Israel.


The Spring House—a massive Canaanite fortress, that was built in the 18 century BC, was excavated in a complex operation led by Professor Ronny Reich from Haifa University and Eli Shukron from the Israel Antiquities Authority.


The fortress protects the Biblical Gihon Spring with a massive fortification that isolates the spring and allows access to it only to those coming from the west—from inside the city.


According to Shmuel II chapter 5, King David conquered the "Zion Fortress" from the Jebusite king and his men. The Spring House raises the possibility that it is the same impressive fortress, into which King David's men entered as they were conquering Jerusalem from the Jebusites.


At the beginning of Kings I, Nathan the prophet and Tzadok HaKohen describe King Sholomon's coronation as taking place "on Gihon." This ceremony took place, researchers believe, at the heart of the Spring House—over the gushing Gihon Spring.


"When we open the Bible and read about King Solomon who was crowned here, on the Gihon Spring—today you can come and see: this is where it happened. This is where it all started," said Oriya Desberg, the manager of development at the City of David.


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