Israeli archaeologists are insisting that a wall they have found in Old Jerusalem was built by the legendary King Solomon.
However, the find has been criticised by Palestinian boffins who have accused Israel of searching for proof that it owns the disputed territory with a bible in one hand.
The ancient stone wall uncovered just outside the Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City.
Dig director archaeologist Eilat Mazar claims the wall was built in the latter part of the 10th Century BCE and provides the first structural evidence of biblical King Solomon’s building in the city.
Solomon was famous for his wisdom and though that carving up babies was a very clever way of deciding who its parents were. He also wrote long poems about how pointless life was.
The six-metre-high wall and its surrounding complex of a gatehouse and a corner tower were excavated over the past three weeks in a dig conducted by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in the latest of finds linked to the reign of Solomon.
But the Wall is in East Jerusalem, which was captured by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war and later annexed in a move never internationally recognized.
The Palestinians want the region as the capital of their independent state. However there are some groups which see indications of Jewish settlement in ancient times as a good reason to keep the land Israeli.
Links to David and Solomon are seen as good PR, particularly with wealthy Christian American backers who also like their Bible literally and “proved by science”.
Mazar insists that the 3,000-year-old wall “testifies to a ruling presence. Its strength and form of construction indicate a high level of engineering.
Quoting the Bible, First Book of Kings, Mazar said that Solomon built the wall with the aid of the Phoenicians, who were outstanding builders.
Discovered along with the wall were seal impressions on jar handles with the words “to the king,” and other bullae with Hebrew names that also testified to the royal nature of the structure.
However it is worth pointing out that the finds only prove that there was a Semite King ruling Jerusalem during that period. According to Egyptian records Kings were very common around that area as it was a period when the two superpowers, the Hittites and the Egyptians were all in a point of decline.
But the point is that while the wall is jolly old, and interesting, no King names have been found and the legends associated with David and Solomon were penned nearly 600 years later.
The point is that no archaeologist worth their salt would invoke mythical kings and a literal interpretation of one document in quite this way. At least, not since Sir Leonard Woolley, while digging at Ur made the somewhat stupid claim that he found the biblical flood at the site.