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In Search of King David’s Tomb and Lost Golden Treasure

by Gary Arvidson

 Mysterious Markings

In November 1868, Captain Charles Warren of the British Royal Engineers dug a vertical shaft 80′ down to bedrock at the SE Angle of the Temple Mount Platform (TMP). He discovered mysterious markings on the lowest courses of foundation stones. They had been inscribed by someone nearly 2000 years ago — and then immediately covered up. This was a rather “strange” procedure.

These unusual symbols had remained hidden to human eyes since the massive blocks were set into place by King Herod’s workmen. What do the marks mean? Could there be a hidden connection with King David’s


Epic adventure movies are often based on discovering lost civilizations, ancient temples, hidden tombs, and buried treasure. In times past, archaeologists have been powerfully motivated by a magnetic attraction for King David’s tomb and its fabled treasure. One scholar admitted:

The conviction that somewhere on the little SE Hill the tombs of David and his successors during three centuries were awaiting discovery, has more than once been the decisive inducement for undertaking an excavation at Jerusalem, or at any rate for selecting this hill as the field of operations.1

Clermont-Ganneau The quest for the lost royal sepulchers of Israel’s kings inspired prominent theories by Clermont-Ganneau. Elements of his work have been quoted earlier. He proposed and defended his views in a number of articles, the most comprehensive being in 1897. Clermont-Ganneau was so totally sold on these ideas that his fullest report began with the words:

…the discovery of the royal necropolis, where David and most of his successors were buried, constitutes beyond any doubt the capital problem of Hebrew archaeology.2

This claim becomes more understandable in light of the French archaeologist’s conviction “that these tombs would be found packed with treasures.”3 Weill’s excavations in 1913-14 were conducted in an effort to test those theories. The results consummated in discovering tombs designated as T1-T8. Then T9 was found just 10 years later.4 But as archaeologists realize today, this did not solve the continuing mystery about King David’s tomb. Simons analyzed this problem succinctly:

Nobody has ever found the necropolis of biblical Jerusalem, nor even a group of tombs large enough to point out where the dead of that city were preferably laid to rest.5

Last time we saw reasons why this quest for King David’s tomb should be for a different kind of sepulchre. [Back copies of this series are still available and may be requested.] This data also suggested reasons for shifting the tomb’s hypothesized location to the SE corner of David’s own city. The idea was based on a wide range of circumstantial evidence about the SE Angle of the TMP. That initial discussion on this hypothesized alternate location for David’s “unique” tomb will be completed in this installment. It begins with results from the first excavation at the SE Angle.

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The Association for Christian Development is a non-denominational Christian ministry dedicated to proclaiming the Good News of the coming Kingdom of God. We believe God has a Grand Plan for mankind, which at its core calls us to become like him—after his image in character and mind. We believe God has given us all Scripture (OT & NT) to guide us in … Learn More About the ACD.

Glasses on Open Bible ca. 2001