Excavators discover 3,800-year-old biblical fortress in City of David

Archaeologists finish a 15-year-long excavation of the "Spring Citadel" dating back to the time of Kings David and Solomon.

'Spring Citadel' site (photo credit: COURTESY OF IAA)
'Spring Citadel' site
(photo credit: COURTESY OF IAA)
Video: Eli Mandelbaum

After a 15-year-long excavation defined as one of the most complex ever conducted in Israel, archeologists have finished uncovering a massive Canaanite fortress dating back to the time of Kings David and Solomon.The 3,800-year-old “Spring Citadel” was excavated in the City of David National Park by dozens of researchers led by Prof.Ronny Reich of the University of Haifa and Eli Shukrun of the Antiquities Authority.“The Spring Citadel was built in order to save and protect the water of the city from enemies coming to conquer it, as well as to protect the people going down to the spring to get water and bring it back up to the city,” said the director of development in the City of David, Oriya Dasberg.The citadel is believed to have protected the Gihon spring, described in the Book of Kings as the location of King Solomon’s anointing.The Spring Citadel is the largest Canaanite fortress yet discovered in Israel, and is believed to be the largest known fortress predating the reign of King Herod, according to the Antiquities Authority.The fully excavated site has reopened to the public and will offer fuller access to visitors who wish to explore a piece of biblical history.