Israeli archaeologists uncover fortress from King David’s time

On Wednesday, archaeologists unveiled a fortified structure from King David’s time on the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights that illuminates the boundaries of a biblical Israeli ally.

The 3,000-year-old fort, which was found near the Jewish settlement of Hispin before the work of building a new neighborhood, is believed to have belonged to the Gesurites, King David’s allies.

Locally quarry basalt blocks form the 1.5 meter thick walls of the hill complex.

Barak Tzin, who directed his excavation to the Israel Antiquities Authority, estimated that it covered more than 1,000 square meters (a quarter of an acre).

Excavators found a large stone with engraving of two horned figures stretching out their arms and a figurine of a woman holding a musical instrument, possibly a drum.

“It also connects us to Iron Age finds,” said Tzin, noting similar artifacts discovered at Bethsaida, “a site linked to the capital of the Kingdom of Geshur” located west of Hispin on the northern shore of the Galilee Sea.

Israeli archaeologists unearthed a King David fortress in the Golan Heights, dating back 3,000 years.

The fortress was built by the biblical kingdom of Geshur, an ally of King David. Israel is a land of history!

– Hananya Naftali (@HananyaNaftali) November 12, 2020

Tzin said there was source material indicating “family ties” between Geshur and David.

The Hispin Fortress, the first of its kind to be excavated, adds a rare “piece to the puzzle” in Golan archeology, Tzin said.

“This phenomenon may be more widespread as we know it. Golan research is not yet at a high level … We are just beginning to rediscover the Golan now.”

Future finds could help define clearer boundaries for the Geshuritic empire, while Hispin’s fortress “fills the middle,” he said.

“We think (the kingdom) is spreading to Syria – it fills the gap in between,” he said of the Hispin website.

“The picture is starting to get a little clearer.”