Was the Israelite Kingdom Older Than Previously Thought? https://mosaicmagazine.com/picks/uncategorized/2014/12/was-the-israelite-kingdom-older-than-previously-thought/

December 18, 2014 | Mississippi State University
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It is generally agreed that, if Kings David and Solomon were historical personages, they would have lived in the 10th century BCE. But some scholars doubt that an organized kingdom existed in the land of Israel at the time, meaning that King David was either some sort of tribal chieftain or the mythical founder of a real dynasty. The recent discovery of clay seals (bullae) at Khirbet Summeily in the Negev suggests, however, that some sort of kingdom existed there much earlier than previously thought:

Jimmy Hardin, associate professor in the MSU Department of Anthropology and Middle Eastern Cultures, said these clay bullae were used to seal official correspondence in much the same way wax seals were used on official documents in later periods. . . . “Our preliminary results indicated that this site is integrated into a political entity that is typified by elite activities, suggesting that a state was already being formed in the 10th century BCE,” Hardin said, . . . “which lends general support to the historical veracity of David and Solomon as recorded in the Hebrew biblical texts.”

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