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The House of David Inscription (also known as the "Tel Dan Inscription") was discovered in 1994 during excavations at the ancient city of Dan. It is considered by many to be the first reference to the "House of David" discovered outside the biblical text.

The Tel Dan Inscription has been dated to about 835 BCE, roughly 150 years after the supposed time of David, and appears to be part of a stele erected by King Hazael of Damascus. The fragment has been pieced together with some gaps filled in, and reads in part: "I killed Jehoram son of Ahab king of Israel, and I killed Ahaziahu son of Jehoram king of the House of David ..." So this is circumstantial evidence that David had once lived, or at least that the Judahites believed he had. The authenticity or interpretation of this limited extra-biblical evidence is still being challenged by some scholars.

There is no extra-biblical evidence to support the historicity of the legendary King Solomon.

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The legendary King David is believed to have lived around 1005 to 965 BCE, and the majority of archaeologists believe there is archaeological evidence from this time, even if it shows a smaller, weaker and less wealthy state than portrayed in The Bible.

The science of Archaeology has traditionally relied on biblical testimony for dating archaeological finds to the time of Kings David or Solomon, and the assumptions behind this have only recently begun to be questioned. Buildings or architectural phases have been assigned to the tenth century BCE because they were assumed to have been built by King Solomon. A case in point is the 6-chambered gate. These gates were found at Megiddo, Hazor, and Gezer. Based on biblical texts Yigal Yadin proposed a dating for these gates in the second half of the 10th century BCE. These gates then became a hallmark of that period, so that if a 6-chambered gate was discovered at another site, this gate and the other buildings associated with it were dated to the tenth century BCE as well. The (supposedly) tenth century pottery found at Megiddo became a dating tool for other sites.

Historical sources for Jerusalem prior to the time attributed to David are almost nonexistent and there is very little archaeological evidence that a city existed here in Iron Age I, or even in 1000 BCE, when David was supposed to have conquered it.

For the period of the United Monarchy, the major find is a building with a complete collared-rim jar on its plastered floor, which allowed the building to be dated to Iron Age I. A series of terraces about it were excavated at different times by both Shiloh and Kenyon. The terrace system consisted of seven "steps" descending down the slope of the hill and bounded on the south by a solid stone wall about 65 feet high. Several hundred Iron Age I potsherds were found in the terrace fills. Further finds in Jerusalem indicate the existence of defensive walls, fortifications, public buildings and maybe even a temple that might have been dedicated to Baal in the tenth-century BCE settlement. What is lacking in the archaeological record are houses. It seems that at this stage, Jerusalem was a small administrative centre but without the population normally associated with an urban environment.

Jerusalem was not very different from other towns in Palestine at this time, such as Megiddo, Hazor, Gezer and Lachish, all of which were small towns with the same characteristics: large fortifications, ashlar masonry, public buildings and hardly any residential areas. Based on the archaeological record alone, one would assume that these settlements were the seats of governments of several small regional states that only later fused into the historically attested states of Israel and Judah.

Another possibility gaining increasing support among archaeologists is that the town of Jerusalem was actually founded in the beginning of the ninth century BCE, and David and Solomon had nothing to do with it. This re-evaluation comes about because the dates being used for pottery and other artefacts were consistently much older than similar pottery and artefacts from neighbouring states. If the advocates of the "low chronology" are right, then most Iron Age towns in ancient Israel were actually built in the ninth rather than in the tenth century. The ninth century would be the period when state formation started, kings established themselves, the states of Israel and Judah were formed, and administrative towns such as Hazor, Beersheba, and Jerusalem were built. On this view, there is very little at all that should be dated to the time attributed to King David.

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Q: Are they any archaeological finds from the time of King David?
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