According to the Bible, King David of Israel lived in the 11th century B.C.E. and his descendants ruled for hundreds of years. But some critics have argued that David is a myth, a tribal legend created much later. Was King David a real person?

In 1993, archaeologist Avraham Biran and his team discovered a stone fragment at Tel Dan, northern Israel, bearing an inscription that refers to the “House of David.” The inscription, in an ancient Semitic script, dates to the ninth century B.C.E. It was evidently part of a monument erected by the Aramaeans, boasting of victories over the Israelites.

An article in Bible History Daily states: “The ‘House of David’ inscription had its skeptics . . . However, most Biblical scholars and archaeologists readily accepted that the Tel Dan stela had supplied the first concrete proof of a historical King David from the Bible, making it one of the top Biblical archaeology discoveries reported in BAR [Biblical Archaeology Review].”