Today I had the pleasure of visiting Eilat Mazar‘s fascinating excavations in the City of David. In her current season, which has lasted for about 6 months (!!), she has uncovered additional elements of a monumental building that was already partially uncovered in previous seasons. As you all may know, she has suggested that this may be a royal structure from the time of King David, from the late 11th/early 10th centuries BCE.
The structure is in fact very impressive, and it appears, based on the finds from below this astounding structure, that it was built no later than the late Iron Age I, since no later finds were found in the fills below this structure. Also, in one area, Iron Age IIA pottery was found in a context of secondary construction and use of the building. What this clearly means is that in the verly late Iron Age I, or the very early Iron Age IIA (whether you date this to late 11th/early 10th, or late 10th), there were substantial public architectural activities in Jerusalem. Needless to say, this is very important for the ongoing (never ending … :-) discussions on the history of the early Iron Age Judean monarchy.
The finds from this excavation are very important for any discussion on the late Iron I/Early Iron II period in the Land of Israel, and thus, are quite relevant vis-a-vis finds from this very time frame from Tell es-Safi/Gath.
Finally, Eilat is to be congratulated for the very nice preliminary report that she just put out on the 2005 season of her work, with many fine photos of the area and of finds from various periods.