Yehuda Kaplan, the curator of the Bible Lands Museum, explained to Arutz Sheva the significance of an ancient city which was unearthed in the Elah Valley near Beit Shemesh.
The city is over 3,000 years old, and is one of the oldest known urban centers to use sophisticated Judean architecture. It is surrounded by a massive wall which has two imposing gates.
The excavations, which were conducted from 2007-2013, were led by Prof. Yosef Garfinkel, Yigal Yadin Chair of Archaeology at the Institute of Archaeology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, together with Sa'ar Ganor from the Israel Antiquities Authority, and Prof. Michael Hasel of the Southern Adventist University of Tennessee.
The gates reminded the archaeologists of the description of the Biblical city of Sha'arayim, which means 'Two Gates' in Hebrew and is associated with the battle between David and Goliath.
The city required advanced planning to construct. In addition, the lack of evidence of Philistine settlement in the city, such as pig bones - which Jews are forbidden from eating - and traditional Philistine pottery, leads the archaeologists to believe that the city may be early evidence of a powerful Israelite kingdom from as early as the 10th BCE.
The Bible Land Museum is currently hosting an exhibition on the excavations in the Elah Valley titled "In the Valley of David and Goliath."