The ancient kings David and Solomon are two of the better-known figures of the Bible. Yet some scholars have disputed their existence, or at least their roles as kings, citing a dearth of evidence that there were functioning governments or states in the 10th century B.C., when the two men are said to have lived.
In the December issue of the journal Near Eastern Archaeology, researchers from Mississippi State University challenge that argument with a report of finding six bullae — clay seals used to secure official documents — at Khirbet Summeily, a site east of Gaza in southern Israel.
According to project co-director Jimmy Hardin, who has been excavating there since 2011, the seals indicate that there were “either political or administrative activities going on at a level well beyond those typical of a rural farmstead. . . . Finding the bullae this past summer strongly supports our idea that Khirbet Summeily was a governmental installation.”
Dating the seals to the 10th century B.C., he said, “lends general support to the historical veracity of David and Solomon as recorded in the Hebrew biblical texts.”