City of David
The City of David (Hebrew: עיר דוד, Ir David), called in Arabic: وادي حلوه, Wadi Hilweh, a neighborhood of Silwan, is a Palestinian Arab village intertwined with an Israeli settlement, and the archaeological site which is speculated to constitute the original settlement core of Bronze and Iron Age Jerusalem.
The City of David is highly controversial in the context of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict; it is located in the area of the West Bank that was annexed to Israel following the 1967 Six-Day War and 1980 Jerusalem Law. The international community regards Israeli settlements illegal under international law, although Israel disputes this.
Archaeologically it is best known for its Canaanite infrastructure dated to the Middle Bronze Age, and its newer structures from the Iron Age, built by Judean kings.
Wadi Hilweh; Ophel section
The area is known as the Arab neighborhood of Wadi Hilweh, part of the village of Silwan, and extends down from the southern city walls of Jerusalem's Old City. The saddle between the city walls and Wadi Hilweh is sometimes treated separately under the name "Ophel", although the exact location of the ancient Ophel is contested.
City of David
The name "City of David" originates in the biblical narrative, where King David is described as the Israelite leader who conquers the fortified city of Jebus and renames it after himself. This was described in chapter 5 of the Second Book of Samuel, which states (verses 7-9):
Nevertheless, David captured the fortress of Zion (that is, the City of David). On that day he said, “Whoever attacks the Jebusites must use the water shaft to reach the lame and blind who are despised by David. That is why it is said, “The blind and the lame will never enter the palace.” So David took up residence in the fortress and called it the City of David. He built it up all the way around, from the supporting terraces inward.
First suggested in 1920 for this particular area, the term "City of David" was used officially from the 1970s onward, following the capture of East Jerusalem by Israel, but today the name with its biblical and political connotations is questioned by some in the archaeological academic community.
Late Ottoman period
The area immediately outside the walls of Jerusalem was undeveloped for most of early modern history, with the exception of the village of Silwan. Modern settlement outside of the walls began in the late 19th century. A few small buildings are visible on the hill facing the houses of Silwan in the Illés Relief, built between 1864-73. In 1873–1874 a member of the notable Jewish Meyuchas family moved to a house on the towards the bottom of the hill. During the early 20th century, Baron de Rothschild acquired some land in the same area for the purposes of archaeological excavation. The Meyuchas family left in the 1930s; no other Jewish families are known to have settled in the area during the period.
Settlement in Mandatory Palestine
Post 1967 and Israeli settlement
Arab families continued to live on the ridge and to build houses there after 1967.
In October 2014, Uri Ariel, politician from The Jewish Home party and at that time Israeli Minister of Housing and Construction, caused controversy when he suggested he was considering taking up residence in the area.
The ElAd Foundation is planning the construction of a 16,000 m2 structure on the opposite side of the Wadi Hilweh Street, at the former Givati parking lot, the "Kedem Compound", which was approved in April 2014, a project that was denounced by UNESCO in October 2016.
The area is one of the most intensively excavated sites in the Holy Land. Archaeological practice at the site has been criticized for its practitioners not acknowledging political and corporate motivations, questionable field practice and overtly skewed interpretations.
Location and topography
It is on a narrow ridge running south from the Temple Mount. The site has a good defensive position, as it is almost surrounded by the Central or Tyropoeon Valley to its west, by the Hinnom Valley to the south, and the Kidron Valley on the east.
Bronze and Iron Age
It is thought to have been the site of a walled city from the Bronze Age, which enjoyed the defensive advantages of its position. In the pre-Israelite period, the area is thought to have been separated from the site of the later Temple Mount by the Ophel, an uninhabited area which became the seat of government under Israelite rule.
In 2014, excavations at the Givati parking lot showed there had been no 10th-century city wall, meaning: no fortified settlement in the City of David during the Iron IIA (c. 1000–925 BCE), the time span usually proposed by biblical scholars for the reigns of David, Solomon and Rehoboam.
During the reign of Hezekiah (reign c. 716–697/687 BCE), the walls of Jerusalem were expanded westward, across the Central Valley from the City of David and the Temple Mount, enclosing a previously unwalled suburb in the area known today as the Western Hill of the Old City.
The debate within biblical archaeology on whether this site on the hill southeast of the Old City could be identified with what the Hebrew Bible calls Jebus and later the City of David, began in the late 19th century with the excavations of Charles Warren and Hermann Guthe. The 1909–11 work of Louis-Hugues Vincent and Montagu Brownlow Parker identified the earliest known settlement traces in the Jerusalem region, suggesting the area was an ancient core of settlement in Jerusalem dating back to the Bronze Age.
Archaeological exploration of the area began in the nineteenth century, with excavations undertaken by Charles Warren in 1867. Warren was sent by the Palestine Exploration Fund. Warren conducted an excavation of the area south of the Temple Mount and recovered a massive fortification. The finding led him to conduct more excavations at the area south of the Temple Mount. There he revealed a vertical shaft descending from a slanted tunnel to an apparent water source. He suggested that the shaft was used to supply water to the city, which he believed was the old biblical city of David. Today this shaft is called after its discoverer "Warren's shaft", but his interpretation has been proven wrong, as the shaft is not man-made and had not yet been discovered by Jerusalem's inhabitants in the 10th century BCE.
There have been numerous excavations since and several digs are currently underway. Complete chronological lists of the digs are available at the website of the Israel Antiquities Authority, dating to following periods:
In 2010, an archaeological survey of the City of David was conducted by Rina Avner, Eliahu Shukron and Ronny Reich, on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA). In 2012–2013, two teams of archaeologists conducted surveys of the area on behalf of the IAA; one led by Joseph (Joe) Uzziel, and the other by Yuval Gadot. Archaeological surveys in the City of David continued in 2014, led by Uzziel, and Nahshon Szanton.
The right to control both the archaeological and the residential aspects of the City of David is hotly contested by Israelis and Palestinians. There is a proposal to turn most of the area into an archaeological park, and to transform a part of the Kidron Valley currently inhabited by Arabs into a park to be called the King's Garden.
Israeli archaeology at the site has been criticized; Tel Aviv University Professor Rafi Greenberg stated that archaeological practice at the site is "completely subsumed to political and corporate motivations that are, however, largely unacknowledged by its "neutral" practitioners, leading to questionable field practice and overtly skewed interpretations of the past".
The remains at the site include several water tunnels, one of which was built by King Hezekiah and still carries water, several pools including the Pool of Siloam known from the Old and New Testaments, and in its vicinity scholars expect to find, or claim to have found, the remains of the Acra, a fortress built by Antiochus Epiphanes to subdue those Jerusalemites who were opposed to Hellenisation. City of David archaeologist Eilat Mazar believes that a so-called Large Stone Structure she has discovered at the upper area of the site and tentatively dated to the tenth to ninth century BC, may be the palace of King David. Not far from that excavation area a number of bullae (seal impressions) were unearthed, bearing the names of Yehucal son of Shelemiah and Gedaliah son of Pashhur, two officials mentioned in the Book of Jeremiah.
- The Gihon Spring, which lies on the eastern slope of the southeastern hill of Jerusalem aka the City of David, and is generally considered the very reason why the city first emerged at this specific location.
The ancient water systems connected to the Gihon Spring include natural, masonry-built, and rock-cut structures, such as
- The Spring Tower
- Warren's Shaft, a natural shaft, once thought to have been a water supply system
- The Siloam Channel, a Canaanite (Bronze Age) water system that preceded the Siloam Tunnel
- The Siloam Tunnel, an Iron Age water supply system where the Siloam inscription was found
- The Siloam Pool - two connected pools, an upper one from the Byzantine period at the exit of the Siloam Tunnel, and the recently discovered, lower pool dating to the Hasmonean part of the Second Temple Period.
Other built structures, spread over excavated sections known as Area A, B, C, ... include
- The Large Stone Structure
- The Stepped Stone Structure
- City walls and towers, houses, a columbarium, rock-cut vaulted tunnels once interpreted as royal Judahite tombs, a rock-cut pool where the Theodotus Inscription was discovered (see here), etc.
- A monumental stepped street probably used by Second Temple-period pilgrims and built over a large
- drainage system.
An adjacent and related excavation site is known as the
Finds by period
Chalcolithic (4500–3500 BCE)
Chalcolithic remains include bits of pottery found in clefts in the bedrock by Macalister and Duncan. The expedition also discovered a number of places where the bedrock had been cut in various ways. These included areas where the rock had been smoothed and others where it had been cut to form flow channels. There were also several groups of small basins, sometimes called cup marks, cut into the bedrock. These are assumed to have been used for some form of agricultural processing. Macalister and Duncan speculated that they were used in olive oil processing.Edwin C. M. van den Brink, who notes that similar carved basins have been found at Beit Shemesh and near Modi'in-Maccabim-Re'ut, speculates that they may have been created by repeated grinding and crushing activity, such as the grinding of grain or the crushing of olives. Eilat Mazar speculates that they were used to collect rainwater.
Early Bronze Age (3500–2350 BCE)
Pieces of pottery have been found.
Middle Bronze Age (2000–1550 BCE)
Late Bronze Age (1550–1200 BCE)
Pottery and bronze arrowheads dating form this period have been found.
In 2010, a fragment of a clay tablet dating from the 14th century BCE was uncovered, making it the oldest written document yet uncovered in Jerusalem. It is dated by the writing it bears, in an ancient Akkadian cuneiform script. The text was deciphered by graduate student Takayoshi Oshima working under professor Wayne Horowitz. According to Horowitz, the quality of the writing indicates that this was a royal inscription, apparently a letter from the king of Jerusalem to the pharaoh in Egypt. Professor Christopher Rollston points out that there is no mention of any personal names or titles and no place names in the document. He notes that the quality of the script is good but that this does not show that it is "international royal correspondence." He also suggests that caution should be taken before positing a definite date as it is not a stratified find, having been discovered after excavation in a "wet sieving" process.
Iron Age I (1200–980/70 BCE)
Iron Age IIa (1000–925/900 BCE)
The period of the tenth and ninth centuries BCE has been the subject of an intense scholarly dispute, as well as of ongoing archaeological investigations.
The 2005 discovery by archaeologist Eilat Mazar of a Large Stone Structure, which she dated to the tenth century BCE, would be evidence of buildings in Jerusalem of a size appropriate to the capital of a centralized kingdom at that time. Others, most notably Israel Finkelstein of Tel Aviv University, argue that the structure could, for the most part, be from the much later Hasmonean period. However, new evidence continues to emerge from the dig. Mazar's date is supported by 10th century imported luxury goods found within the Large Stone Structure, including two Phoenician-style ivory inlays once attached to iron objects. Comparable objects found in a Phoenician tomb at Achziv suggest that they may have decorated a sword handle. A quantity of luxury round, carinated bowls with red slip and hand burnishing support both the tenth century date and a sophisticated, urban lifestyle. A bone has been radiocarbon dated by Elisabetta Boaretto at the Weizmann Institute, showing a probable date between 1050 and 780 BCE. A large section of a "delicate and elegant" black-on-red jug, also found in the structure, is of a kind dated to the second half of the tenth century BCE.
In 2010 Mazar announced the discovery of what she believed to be a 10th-century BCE city wall. According to Mazar, "It's the most significant construction we have from First Temple days in Israel," and "It means that at that time, the 10th century, in Jerusalem there was a regime capable of carrying out such construction." Aren Maeir, an archaeology professor at Bar Ilan University, said he has yet to see evidence that the fortifications are as old as Mazar claims.
Doron Ben-Ami wrote in 2014 that, on the basis of his own excavations in the Givati parking lot area bordering on the "City of David" from the north-west, there was apparently no 10th-century city wall: "Had a fortified settlement existed in the City of David, then the course of the city wall on the west would have had to pass through the Givati excavation area. No such city wall has thus far been found. This means that the Iron IIA settlement [c. 1000–925 BCE] was not fortified."
Iron Age IIb (c. 925-720 BCE)
Ben-Ami goes on saying that his Givati findings indicate that "the fortified city of the Iron IIB, which encompassed both the City of David and the Western Hill, had no need for a fortification line between these two sectors of the city."
The elaborate rock-cut tombs of the Israelite period, forming what is known as the Silwan necropolis and dating from the 9th to the 7th centuries BCE, are found outside Wadi Hilweh/the City of David, on the ridge on the opposite, eastern side of the Kidron Valley in and under the Arab village of Silwan. These are large, elaborate tombs of skilfully cut into the stone face of the eastern slope, such as could only have been built by the highest-ranking members of a wealthy society. According to David Ussishkin, "here ministers, nobles and notables of the kingdom of Judah were buried."
The architecture of the tombs and the manner of burial is different "from anything known from contemporary Palestine. Elements such as entrances located high above the surface, gabled ceilings, straight ceilings with a cornice,13 trough-shaped resting-places with pillows, above-ground tombs, and inscriptions engraved on the facade appear only here." However, the stone benches were carved with headrests in a style borrowed from the Egyptian Hathor wig. Ussishkin believes that the architectural similarity to building styles of the Phoenician cities validates the biblical description of Phoenician influence on the Israelite kingdoms, but speculates that some or all of the tombs may have been built by Phoenician aristocrats living in Jerusalem.
Although only three partial inscriptions survive, the paleography makes the dating certain  and they suffice for most archaeologists to identify one tomb with the Biblical Shebna, steward and treasurer of King Hezekiah.
Iron Age IIIb (8th century – 586 BCE)
King Hezekiah secured the city's water supply against siege by digging the Siloam Tunnel through bedrock and covering over all signs of the Gihon Spring and the fortifications that had surrounded it in earlier periods. He built the Pool of Siloam as a water reservoir. Hezekiah then surrounded the new reservoir and the city's burgeoning western suburbs with a new city wall.
Babylonian and Persian periods (586–322 BCE)
Two bullae in the Neo-Babylonian style, one showing a priest standing beside an altar to the gods Marduk and Nabu. A polished, black, scaraboid stone seal showing a "Babylonian cultic scene" of two bearded men standing on each side of an altar dedicated to the Babylonian moon god Sin. The scaraboid is understood to have been produced in Babylonia, with space left below that altar for a personal name. In that space are Hebrew letters that Peter van der Veen has read as the name Shelomit.
Hasmoneans, Herodians and Roman governors (167 BCE – 70 CE)
Major archaeological finds include the Pool of Siloam, the monumental stepped road built by Pilate drained by an impressive channel, the palace of Queen Helena of Adiabene. Active Roman-era excavations are also underway at the Givati Parking Lot dig site.
Byzantine period (324–628 CE)
Byzantine-period mansion called the House of Eusebius.
Early Islamic period (628–1099 CE)
The entire site, including the Gihon Spring and the two Pools of Siloam, is incorporated in an archaeological park open to the public. Visitors can wade through the Siloam Tunnel, through which the waters of the ancient spring still flow, although the change in the water table in recent times mean that the once intermittent karstic spring is now artificially maintained through pumping.
The City of David/Wadi Hilweh is highly controversial in the context of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. In 2018, a leaked report by the European Economic Community cited the area as one being developed for tourism to justify settlements and insist on Jewish heritage at the expense of its Palestinian context.
Sites adjacent to the City of David:
- Acra (fortress)
- Ancient city walls around the City of David, actually north of it, where it borders the Ophel
- Givati Parking Lot dig
- Ophel, the saddle between the Temple Mount and the City of David
Other related topics:
- Greenberg, Rafi (10 November 2014). "Ethics in Action: A Viewpoint from Israel/Palestine". In Alfredo González-Ruibal and Gabriel Moshenska (ed.). Ethics and the Archaeology of Violence. Springer. ISBN 978-1-4939-1643-6.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
- Greenberg 2014, p. 29: "Contrast these rather upbeat examples of ethical praxis in public archaeology with the situation in the Wadi Hilweh neighborhood in Silwan, built on the ancient mound of Jerusalem, just south of the Harare esh-Sharif (Temple Mount). Here, the material remains of the past have become completely absorbed in the discourse of political power, as both the Israeli national project of unifying Jerusalem and the settler project of breaking Palestinian Jerusalem apart have joined to disenfranchise the people living above and among the antiquities. The archaeology practiced here is completely subsumed to political and corporate motivations that are, however, largely unacknowledged by its "neutral" practitioners, leading to questionable field practice and overtly skewed interpretations of the past. Instead of going into detail about the issues of excavation and interpretation, which I have discussed at length elsewhere (Greenberg 2008, 2009), I would like to consider if there is any way out of the predicament that is, if there is a way to conduct archaeology ethically in Silwan."}}
- Wendy Pullan and Max Gwiazda, Jerusalem's 'City of David': The Politicisation of Urban Heritage Archived 2017-08-09 at the Wayback Machine, Divided Cities/Contested States Working Paper No. 6, 2008, p.12: "The 'City of David' is formally treated as a settlement; making homes for Jewish people is seen as an integral part of El-Ad's heritage stewardship"
- B'Tselem, The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, List of Settlement in the West Bank, updated May 2015
- The Independent, "Israeli foreign ministry cadets to defend 'legality' of West Bank settlements", 1 November 2015, "Among the new sessions to be added to the cadet's course are a lecture on the legality of the settlements based on the claim that the West Bank is not occupied territory, according to The Times of Israel. It also includes a tour of the “City of David” settlement in the Palestinian Silwan neighbourhood of East Jerusalem, to be led by settler leader David Be'eri, who seeks its transformation, based on biblical claims, into a Jewish area."
- Sixty-ninth session of the United Nations General Assembly, Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the occupied Syrian Golan: Report by the Secretary-General, A/69/348, 25 August 2014: "Archaeological excavations and parks are also used as a way to control land for settlements, mainly through the funding, participation and endorsement by the Government of Israel of archaeological projects led by settler organizations. Observer organizations report that several archaeological projects in the Old City of Jerusalem are being used as a means to consolidate the presence of settlements and settlers in the area. On 3 April 2014, despite several objections presented by Palestinian residents of the Silwan neighbourhood, a Palestinian community with a population of 45,000, located around the southern Old City wall in East Jerusalem, the Jerusalem District Planning and Building Committee approved a project known as the Kedem Compound.36 The Kedem Compound includes a museum, a visitors centre, and a parking lot covering around 16,000 square metres. The plan was presented by Israel's Nature and Parks Authority and the Ir David Foundation, also known as Elad, which works to strengthen the Jewish connection to Jerusalem, notably the Silwan area. The Kedem Compound would constitute a gateway to the City of David National Park, a touristic archaeological site controlled by the same organization."
- Wendy Pullan; Maximilian Sternberg; Lefkos Kyriacou; Craig Larkin; Michael Dumper (20 November 2013). "David's City in Palestinian Silwan". The Struggle for Jerusalem's Holy Places. Routledge. pp. 76–77. ISBN 978-1-317-97556-4.
However, right into the early twentieth century only the Virgin's Fount (Ain Umm el-Daraj) and the Waters of Siloam (Ain Silwan) had any known historic or religious significance and the area had virtually no specific meaning for Judaism or local Jewish religious practice. In 1920, a French archaeologist first suggested renaming Wadi Hilweh 'La Cité de David', explicitly privileging this specific, speculative biblical tie as the narrative leitmotif of the successive excavations, which have revealed extremely varied findings, both in type and chronological attributions. It was only in the 1970s, when a major Israeli excavation project was conducted there, that 'David's City' became the official Israeli designation, initially having no particular religious connotation; today, the term itself is increasingly questioned in the archaeological academic community. Since El'Ad took over the management of the park in 1997, 'David's City' has essentially become a religious-nationalist battle cry that has transformed the area from an ordinary Palestinian neighbourhood with a few excavation pits, largely unknown to the Israeli public, into a religious settlement and major national biblical monument with hundreds of thousands of visitors a year and an official education site for Israeli school children and soldiers.
- Finkelstein, Israel; Silberman, Neil Asher (March 6, 2002). The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology's New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Sacred Texts. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 9780743223386 – via Google Books.
- Ariel, D. T., & De Groot, A. (1978). "The Iron Age extramural occupation at the City of David and additional observations on the Siloam Channel." Excavation at the City of David, 1985.
- Broshi, M. (1974). "The expansion of Jerusalem in the reigns of Hezekiah and Manasseh." Israel Exploration Journal, 21–26.
- Reich, R., & Shukron, E. (2000). "The Excavations at the Gihon Spring and Warren's Shaft System in the City of David." Ancient Jerusalem Revealed. Jerusalem, 327–339.
- Antiquities of the Jews, Chapter VII, 64-67: "Ἐκβαλὼν δὲ τοὺς Ἰεβουσαίους ἐκ τῆς ἄκρας καὶ αὐτὸς ἀνοικοδομήσας τὰ Ἱεροσόλυμα, πόλιν αὐτὴν Δαυίδου προσηγόρευσε, καὶ τὸν ἅπαντα χρόνον ἐν αὐτῇ διέτριβε βασιλεύων. ὁ δὲ χρόνος ὃν τῆς Ἰούδα φυλῆς ἦρξε μόνης ἐν Χεβρῶνι ἐγένετο ἔτη ἑπτὰ καὶ μῆνες ἕξ. ἀποδείξας δὲ βασίλειον τὰ Ἱεροσόλυμα λαμπροτέροις αἰεὶ καὶ μᾶλλον ἐχρῆτο τοῖς πράγμασι, τοῦ θεοῦ προνοουμένου κρείττω ποιεῖν αὐτὰ καὶ λαμβάνειν ἐπίδοσιν. 66πέμψας δὲ πρὸς αὐτὸν καὶ Εἴρωμος1 ὁ Τυρίων βασιλεὺς φιλίαν καὶ συμμαχίαν συνέθετο· ἔπεμψε δ᾿ αὐτῷ καὶ δωρεὰς ξύλα κέδρινα καὶ τεχνίτας ἄνδρας τέκτονας καὶ οἰκοδόμους, οἳ κατασκευάσειαν2 βασίλειον ἐν Ἱεροσολύμοις. Δαυίδης δὲ τήν τε κάτω3 πόλιν περιλαβὼν4 καὶ τὴν ἄκραν συνάψας αὐτῇ ἐποίησεν ἓν σῶμα, καὶ περιτειχίσας ἐπιμελητὴν 67τῶν τειχῶν κατέστησεν Ἰώαβον. πρῶτος οὖν Δαυίδης τοὺς Ἰεβουσαίους ἐξ Ἱεροσολύμων ἐκβαλὼν ἀφ᾿ ἑαυτοῦ προσηγόρευσε τὴν πόλιν· ἐπὶ γὰρ Ἁβράμου τοῦ προγόνου ἡμῶν Σόλυμα ἐκαλεῖτο..." "When David had driven the Jebusites out of the citadel and had himself rebuilt Jerusalem, he called it the City of David and continued to dwell in it for the whole length of time that he reigned. Now the time that he ruled over the tribe of Judah alone at Hebron was seven years and six months. But after he had chosen Jerusalem for his royal residence, he enjoyed ever more brilliant fortune because of God’s provident care in enhancing it and causing it to increase. Eirōmosa also, the king of Tyre, wrote to him, proposing friendship and alliance, and sent him gifts of cedar wood and skilled men as carpenters and builders to construct a palace in Jerusalem. And David enclosed the lower city and joined it to the citadel so as to form one whole, and, having put a wall around this, appointed Joab keeper of the walls. Thus David, who was the first to drive the Jebusites out of Jerusalem, named the city after himself"
- Yemin Moshe: The Story of a Jerusalem Neighborhood, Eliezer David Jaffe, Praeger, 1988, p. 51
- Meron Rapoport, 2009, Ir Amin: "At the beginning of the 20th century, Baron de Rothschild acquired land on the eastern slopes of the Wadi Hilweh hill with the intention of dedicating it to archaeological excavations... As far as we know, during this period, only a single Jewish family lived in Wadi Hilweh itself, in a house known today as the "Meyuhas house," and left during the 1930s."
- Excavations on the South of the Temple Mount. The Ophel of Biblical Jerusalem, Qedem. Monographs of the Institute of Archaeology, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, No. 29, 1989 ISSN 0333-5844
- Housing Minister Uri Ariel May Move to City of David, 25 October 2014.
- Sixty-ninth session of the United Nations General Assembly, Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the occupied Syrian Golan: Report by the Secretary-General, A/69/348, 25 August 2014: "On 3 April 2014, despite several objections presented by Palestinian residents of the Silwan neighbourhood, a Palestinian community with a population of 45,000, located around the southern Old City wall in East Jerusalem, the Jerusalem District Planning and Building Committee approved a project known as the Kedem Compound. The Kedem Compound includes a museum, a visitors centre, and a parking lot covering around 16,000 square metres. The plan was presented by Israel's Nature and Parks Authority and the Ir David Foundation, also known as Elad, which works to strengthen the Jewish connection to Jerusalem, notably the Silwan area. The Kedem Compound would constitute a gateway to the City of David National Park, a touristic archaeological site controlled by the same organization. Furthermore, Elad presented plans, covering an estimated area of 1,200 square metres for the construction of another tourist compound above a site known as the spring house in Silwan, an ancient structure built above the main spring. Palestinians in the area have been prevented from accessing one of their main sources of water, since Elad has blocked the entrance to the spring by walls and fences. According to the Ir Amim archaeological organization, the plan was submitted for objections in February 2014. According to Emek Shaveh, an organization of archaeologists, an examination of the placement of the excavations and the planned tourist centres (the Kedem Compound, the City of David Visitors Centre, and the Spring House tourist centre) shows that a contiguous line of Israeli settler presence along the entire northern boundary of the Silwan area is being created."
- 200 EX/PX/DR.25.2 Rev. PARIS, 12 October 2016: "The Executive Board... Deplores the Israeli decision to approve... the construction of the so-called “Kedem Center”, a visitor centre near the southern wall of the Al-Aqṣa Mosque/Al-Ḥaram Al-Sharif... and urges Israel, the occupying Power, to renounce the above-mentioned projects and to stop the construction works in conformity with its obligations under the relevant UNESCO conventions, resolutions and decisions"
- Light at the End of the Tunnel: Warren's Shaft Theory of David's Conquest Shattered Archived 2014-08-01 at the Wayback Machine, Ronny Reich and Eli Shukron, BAR January/February 1999: 22–33, 72, quote: "The area we are talking about – the eastern slope of the City of David and particularly the strip above the Gihon Spring – has been subject to more archaeological excavations and research than any site in Jerusalem, and even in Israel."
- Aviad Glickman, L-4167597,00.html 'Silwan man who stoned Jewish vehicle gets 4 years,' at Ynet 27 Dec 2011.
- United Nations, Report of the Human Rights Council: Twelfth Session (14 September - 2 October 2009 UN 2010 p.98 (j).
- Mazar, Eilat, "Excavations at the Summit of the City of David, Preliminary Report of Seasons 2005–2007," Shoham, Jerusalem and New York, 2009, p. 21.
- Doron Ben-Ami (2014). "Notes on the Iron IIA Settlement in Jerusalem in Light of Excavations in the Northwest of the City of David". Tel Aviv. 41 (1): 3–19. doi:10.1179/0334435514Z.00000000030.
- Excavations in the City of David Under Ottoman Rule Archived 2011-07-21 at the Wayback Machine, quote: "Warren and Guthe's discoveries triggered the discussion on whether it was this very hill, on the southern outskirts of the Old City of Jerusalem, which was taken by King David and turned into his capital."
- Palestine Exploration Fund 1895, including a number of scholarly discussions on the debate around the location
- Excavations in the City of David Under Ottoman Rule Archived 2011-07-21 at the Wayback Machine, quote: "One of the peculiar outcomes of this "dig" was that the ancient graves discovered on the upper part of the slope and correctly dated by Vincent to the Early Bronze period, are still the most ancient remains known, not only on the southeastern hill but in all of Jerusalem. This discovery has actually provided the decisive proof that the southeastern hill is the site of the earliest human settlement of Jerusalem and confirms its identification as the biblical City of David."
- The Oxford Companion to Archaeology, p.167
- Israel Finkelstein, Neil Asher Silberman, David and Solomon: In Search of the Bible's Sacred Kings and the Roots of Western Tradition, Simon and Schuster, 2007 p.129.
- Hillel Geva, 'Western Jerusalem at the End of the First Temple Period in Light of the Excavations in the Jewish Quarter', in Andrew G. Vaughn, Ann E. Killebrew (eds.), Jerusalem in Bible and Archaeology: The First Temple Period, Society of Biblical Literature, 2003, pp.183–208, p.183.
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- Israel Antiquities Authority, Excavators and Excavations Permit for Year 2014, Survey Permit # A-7016
- Israel Antiquities Authority, Excavators and Excavations Permit for Year 2014, Survey Permit # A-7017
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- Oliver Holmes, 'Israel using tourism to legitimise settlements, says EU report,' The Guardian 1 February 2018:'Archaeology and tourism development by government institutions as well as private settler organisations established what it said was a “narrative based on historic continuity of the Jewish presence in the area at the expense of other religions and cultures”. Chief among them, the report warned, was the City of David, a government-funded archeological park in the Palestinian neighbourhood of Silwan that provides tours in the ruins of ancient Jerusalem. The site is operated by a settler organisation “promoting an exclusively Jewish narrative, while detaching the place from its Palestinian surroundings”.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to City of David.|
- City of David link, 2008 archived version
- From Shiloah to Silwan project
- Shady Dealings in Silwan: An Ir Amim Report
- Did I Find King David's Palace? Biblical Archaeology Review
- The Dig Dividing Jerusalem: Ahdaf Soueif writes on Silwan in the Guardian
- Amit Rosenblum. City of David: Conservation Maintenance, Israel Antiquities Authority Site - Conservation Department
- Ivanovsky E., Van Zaiden A., Vaknin Y., Asamain, T., Sabag, S. (2007). City of David, Givati Car Park: Stabilization and post-excavation conservation, Israel Antiquities Authority Site - Conservation Department