‘Homely’ ancient rock adds evidence of King David’s existence

House of David inscription

House of David inscription, part of the “Assyria to Iberia at the Dawn of the Classical Age” exhibit at NY’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. (Meidad Suchowolski)

Dimly lit, the stone slab, or stele, doesn’t look particularly noteworthy, especially when compared to the more lavish sphinxes, jewelry and cauldrons one encounters en route to the room where it is installed.

Indeed, in a Twitter post this fall, art journalist Lee Rosenbaum described the nearly 13-by-16 inch c. 830 BCE rock, which resembles an aardvark or elephant, as “homely.”

What’s significant about this stone — on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art as part of its “Assyria to Iberia at the Dawn of the Classical Age” exhibit running through Jan. 4 — is its inscription: “the earliest extra-biblical reference to the House of David.”

My article “‘Homely’ ancient rock adds evidence of King David’s existence” appears in the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA).

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