Archaeologists are claiming a lost city in Israel helps prove the Bible's account of King David is historically accurate.
The dig near Jerusalem was aided by burrowing mole rats, who brought to the surface earth that indicated the site was of historical importance. Scholars went on to unearth a building belonging to an ancient settlement. It is thought to be on the site of Eglon, a city which, according to the Bible, fought against the Israelites as part of the coalition of five Amorite kings and was later listed as belonging to the tribe of Judah.
Scholars dispute whether King David actually existed or if he was a mythical figure and they particularly doubt the size of his kingdom as described in the Bible.
But Prof Avraham Faust, director of the archaeological dig, suggested the find backs the Bible as a historically accurate source.
'We, of course, did not find any artefacts that said "King David" or "King Solomon" but we discovered at the site signs of a social transformation the region underwent,' he told Israel Breaking News.
'This seems to indicate that the inspiration or cause for the transformations are to be sought in the highland. The association with David is not based on any archaeological evidence but on circumstantial grounds only. Since the source of the change seems to be in the highlands, and since it took place at the time when David was supposed to have existed, the link is plausible,' he added.
'Moreover, the changes are consistent with larger regional changes, all connected with the highlands, and all taking place at a time the Kingdom of David was supposed to have to spread into this region.'
'The association with the highland kingdom, as well as the time of the change, are the main discovery, and if someone thinks that there was no King David, that person should come with a different name for the highland king in whose time the region was incorporated into the highland kingdom.'
But Dr Eilat Mazar, a prominent Israeli archaeologist, said the link between the Bible and archaeology was problematic.
'Archaeology does not begin with a belief and the Bible and then a search for proof,' Dr Mazar told Breaking Israel News. 'We first find evidence and then try to understand the truth behind the evidence.'
In most cases evidence of biblical events is lacking, Dr Mazar noted.
'Even with what is written about David, one of the more prominent figures in the Bible, there are very few events that would leave evidence we could find archaeological proof of today.
'We can use the Bible as a source to guide our search, but we cannot use the Bible as proof,' she said. 'But conclusions are drawn after a very long and thorough process of proof. After proving the connection using archaeological methods, the Biblical connection can now be brought.'