Friday, December 02, 2005

MAZAR'S PALACE IN JERUSALEM is covered in a long article ("A Dig Into Jerusalem's Past Fuels Present-Day Debates") in the Washington Post. Not much new in it, but it collects a lot of information that is already fairly well known. It notes that Israel Finkelstein has visited the site. His take:
He believes all buildings described in the Bible were built more recently than Mazar and others believe, perhaps by a century. The interpretation would mean that Jerusalem developed into a thriving, fortified city well after David and Solomon. But Finkelstein said Mazar's find appeared to show that Jerusalem, while perhaps not important during David's time, began emerging as an important city earlier than he previously believed.

"This is the missing link we have been looking for. It represents the first step in the rise of Jerusalem to prominence in the 9th century," he said. "Why does it have to be the palace of David? Once you bring that in you sound like something of a lunatic."

UPDATE (3 December): Joe Cathey points to a howler in the article which I missed.

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