Oldest Hebrew Text May Shed Light on Bible's David
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 30, 2008 6:45 PM CDT
The excavation site of Hirbet Qeiyafa near the town of Beit Shemesh, south of Jerusalem.   (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)
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(Newser) – Archeologists in Israel say they have dug up the oldest known example of Hebrew text, a find that could answer questions about the scope and power of the ancient kingdom of David, Reuters reports. Researchers found the 3,000-year-old pottery shards at an excavation site near where the Bible says David slew Goliath. The inscriptions appear to include words such as "judge" and "king," indicating an advanced society.

The find is significant because little physical evidence has been found to date of the kingdom of David, which the Bible says existed in the 10th century BC. "The chronology and geography of Khirbet Qeiyafa create a unique meeting point between the mythology, history, historiography, and archaeology of King David," says a lead archeologist. The inscriptions predate the Dead Sea Scrolls by 1,000 years.