Pottery Shard May Vindicate Bible: Scholar

Ancient 'Ophel inscription' could prove the story of King Solomon

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 27, 2014 6:30 PM CST

(Newser) – An ancient pottery shard seems to support the Biblical story of King Solomon and shows he was running a pretty complex operation 3,000 years ago—at least according to one Israeli scholar. "We are dealing here with real kings, and the kingdom of David and Solomon was a real fact," Gershon Galil tells Fox News. He bases this on the "Ophel inscription," the oldest alphabetical writing ever found in Israel. Galil translates the 8 letters on a clay-jug fragment as yah-yin chah-lak, or "inferior wine." This, he says, was the cheap stuff given to laborers who built the young city of Jerusalem.

Galil says this indicates an advanced bureaucratic system that could label wine, note where it came from, store it, and so on, reports the Archaeology News Network. Galil dates the shard to the middle of the 10th century BCE, which places the Jews in Jerusalem earlier than scholars have believed, to a time when the Bible says King Solomon ruled. Galil takes this as proof that Solomon ordered the building of the First Temple. Others have said Judean King Hezekiah had it built in Solomon's name, a notion Galil dismisses. "If Obama were to achieve something, he would not claim that Bush did it," he said. "It's not in human nature!" But scholars are still debating the meaning of the inscription, Fox News notes.

The Ophel inscription.
The Ophel inscription.   (YouTube)
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