A gate dating back to the 10th century BC – the time of King David – has been found in the Golan Heights by archaeologists.
Known in the Bible as both Bethsaida and Zer, teams have spent over 30 years excavating the area.
Another find was a 3,000 year-old monument, or “stele”, of a pagan idol. It was uncovered by a team that included Dr Chris Sinkinson, who presents The Christian Institute’s new Living Christianity series.
Experts from around the world have been involved in the decades-long hunt, with Professor Rami Arav of the University of Nebraska leading the work.
Prof Arav said the area has had no disturbance from construction, making it a “unique example of a capital city from the 11th-8th century”.
He explained: “Bethsaida was the name of the city during the Second Temple period, but during the First Temple period it was the city of Zer”, the name used in Joshua 19:35.
Dr Chris Sinkinson, who lectures at Moorlands College in the south of England, said the finds have been very exciting.
While he could not go into detail before the full information is published, he said it was now certain that the excavation area was the location of a city gate of David’s time.
He told The Christian Institute: “The city is thought to be the capital of the Kingdom of Geshur, a friendly ally of Israel. King David married the daughter of the King and Absalom fled here during a rebellion.
“The discovery of this city will have significant implications for our understanding of the world of the Bible at that time.”
Recently, archaeologists discovered an ancient clay seal that once belonged to a biblical governor of Jerusalem.
The Israel Antiquities Authority found the 2,700-year-old relic close to the Western Wall of Jerusalem. The seal bears an inscription which in ancient Hebrew means “belonging to the governor of the city”.
In a 2017 visit to The Christian Institute, Brian Edwards, author of ‘Evidence for the Bible’, gave numerous examples of the way archaeology evidences Scripture.
Read more: ‘Brian Edwards: Evidence for the Bible’.