Israeli archaeologists uncovered an artifact at the Bethsaida dig site that may identify the location as the city where King David courted future bride Maachah.
By: World Israel News Staff
As the 2018 season of the Bethsaida Excavations Project comes to a close in Israel’s Galilee region, archaeologists announced a unique discovery dating back to the 10th century BCE.
The find consists of a city gate that may have served as the entry point for the Bible’s King David, when he arrived to the city of Tzer to collect a bride named Maachah.
Maachah was David’s wife and bore the king Absalom, who escaped to his mother’s ancestral kingdom, Geshur, after murdering his half-brother Amnon. Later in the bible, Absalom’s daughter marries Solomon’s son Rehoboam, king of Judah.
According to excavation director Prof. Rami Arav, the 3-meter tall gate “is the largest and the best preserved city gate” in Israel, reported Times of Israel.
The gate was used in the 11th and 10th centuries, after which the settlement was laid waste, remaining dormant until a subsequent Aramean settlement was established.
According to Arav, Bethsaida may also have been the location of a city called Tzer, which is mentioned once in the Book of Joshua. Bethsaida is also a key location in Christian texts and history.
The Bethsaida Valley Nature Reserve has been the site of major excavations lead by Arav, who has worked on the site for over 30 years. To date, the site has produced finds such as the remains of a 3,500-year-old Bronze Age settlement, a Hellenistic community, and a Roman temple.
In addition, the site is also home to the remains of a Hasmonean- and Herodian-era Jewish community, a Mamluk period settlement, and an Ottoma-era village.