Clay Seals Suggest Kings David, Solomon Were Real
Discovery bolsters theory of Iron Age kingdoms
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 18, 2014 3:25 PM CST
File photo of a statue representing King David.   (AP Photo/Polfoto, Jens Dige, File)

(Newser) – Kings David and Solomon may be memorable figures from the Bible, but plenty of scholars think they were mere figments of somebody's imagination. One big reason is that the archaeological record doesn't mesh: These two supposedly ruled in the 10th-century BC, but where's the physical evidence? Now, however, an archaeological team from Mississippi State University has dug up six clay seals in Israel that support the idea of such reigns, reports Science Daily. The seals are tangible evidence that some kind of government was operating near what is present-day Gaza in the Iron Age, say the researchers.

As io9 explains, the seals "do not have any writing or symbols that declare 'King David was here.'" But they lend weight to the theory that David and Solomon "were actual historical figures—or, at the very least, based upon other rulers who lived during the period recounted in the Bible." The site in southern Israel known as Khirbet Summeily was previously thought to be an ancient farm, notes Archaeology, but the clays seals upend that theory. “You have either political or administrative activities going on at a level well beyond those typical of a rural farmstead,” says an MSU researcher. (Click to read about an ancient warrior found in the UK, still clutching his dagger.)