The City of David is an archaeological wonder that is being discovered layer by layer. Located in eastern Jerusalem; the ancient City of David is now a national archaeological park that draws in thousands of visitors each year. Piece by piece, archaeologists are discovering more of the underground city; while visitors have the opportunity to learn and explore above ground. With stunning views over Jerusalem; the historic Gihon Spring underground; and other marvels, there is much to enjoy on a trip to the City of David. One of the fascinating aspects of the park is the walls. The walls that we can see today have been around for almost 4,000 years. Built by the Canaanites, it was designed to fortify the city during the Hittites were still around. In fact, it is built with local stone, the wall extends 300 meters and features towers, stone decorations, and inscriptions.
The ‘Lost’ City of David
So the precise location of the City of David was lost after the Roman destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE. For centuries, many believed that the ancient city would be lost forever. However, in the 1860s, archaeologists rediscovered the City of David when excavations were completed in the area. The lead archaeologist was Charles Warren; who was sent by the Palestine Exploration Fund. Warren uncovered a shaft that led to a water source, which he believed was used to supply the City of David with water.
Today, that shaft is still called “Warren’s Shaft.” Sadly, his guess on its purpose was incorrect. Nonetheless, it led to greater exploration of the area, and they still uncover more. Some of the significant discoveries include a Canaanite fortress, King Hezekiah’s tunnel, the pool of Siloam, and more. It is even possible that they may have found the palace of King David.
The City of David was named after the famous King David; an important figure in Hebrew religious history. King David was the first king of the United Monarchy of Israel and Judah. In the Books of Samuel, the story of David was told. As a young shepherd, David’s first claim to fame was through his music and later when he killed Goliath in battle. David was considered a favorite of King Saul,
But, sadly, King Saul later turned on him. After King Saul’s death, David was anointed king, and he went on to conquer Jerusalem, after which he took the Ark of the Covenant into the city and established a kingdom. While King David’s reign wasn’t pristine, he was still honored as an ideal king after his death and chose his son Solomon to be his successor.