I can't state strongly enough just how significant this find is. It will deepen our understanding of biblical cultic practice, perhaps even overturn some of our current knowledge.
"Prof. Yosef Garfinkel, the Yigal Yadin Professor of Archaeology at the Institute of Archaeology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, announced the discovery of objects that for the first time shed light on how a cult was organized in Judah at the time of King David. During recent archaeological excavations at Khirbet Qeiyafa, a fortified city in Judah adjacent to the Valley of Elah, Garfinkel and colleagues uncovered rich assemblages of pottery, stone and metal tools, and many art and cult objects. These include three large rooms that served as cultic shrines, which in their architecture and finds correspond to the biblical description of a cult at the time of King David.
This discovery is extraordinary as it is the first time that shrines from the time of early biblical kings were uncovered. Because these shrines pre-date the construction of Solomon's temple in Jerusalem by 30 to 40 years, they provide the first physical evidence of a cult in the time of King David, with significant implications for the fields of archaeology, history, biblical and religion studies."
Excavations at Khirbet Qeiyafa (Photo: Hebrew University of Jerusalem)
Prof. Yosef Garfinkel with a stone shrine model found at Khirbet Qeiyafa (Photo: Hebrew University of Jerusalem)