A team of Israeli archeologists has announced the discovery of an ancient Biblical city. The Israeli Antiquities Authority, Hebrew University in Jerusalem and Macquarie University of Sydney, Australia issued a joint statement saying that they had uncovered the city of Ziklag, which was mentioned multiple times in the Bible.
Ziklag is referenced in relation to David, who was granted sanctuary in the city along with his army, with the permission of Achish, King of Gat. The site is believed to be where David was anointed as the King of Israel.
The most famous mention of the city is found in 1 Samuel 30, which describes the destruction of the Amalekites:
“David and his men reached Ziklag on the third day. Now the Amalekites had raided the Negev and Ziklag,” reads verse 1.
Ziklag is also mentioned in the Book of Nehemiah as a place where Jews returned to after being exiled in Babylon.
Several archaeological teams have undertaken excavations at the site, with digging commencing in 2015, led by Prof. Yosef Garfinkel, head of the Institute of Archaeology at Hebrew University.
The original Philistine settlement at Ziklag dates back to the 12th century BCE, according to the Jerusalem Post. There is also crucial meaning found within its name. “It is not a local Semitic name but a Philistine name, further proof that the Philistines were not native to the area but migrated to the land of Israel from Europe,” wrote Alex Winston at the Jerusalem Post.
David used the city as a military base for raids against the Geshurites, the Girzites and the Amalekites. Following the destruction of the city, the Amalekites and the population was enslaved. Then, after King Saul was killed in battle with the Philistines, David fled Ziklag and traveled to Hebron where he was crowned the King of Israel.
The Israeli Antiquities Authority noted that a large quantity of ancient pottery was discovered on the site. “Nearly one hundred complete pottery vessels were found in the various rooms,” the group noted. “The great range of complete vessels is testimony to the interesting everyday life during the reign of King David.”
With the archaeological evidence so compelling, experts believe that the location is almost certain to be Ziklag as mentioned in the Bible.