About the project
The City of David is located below the Old City’s Dung Gate on the slope leading down to the Kidron Valley, where Jerusalem originated 5,000 years ago. It includes 25 strata going back to the Chalcolithic Period in the fourth millennium BCE, as well as those of King David’s and King Solomon’s reigns, and after Jews returned from Babylon in 538 BCE. Excavations began here in 1859, and in 1913, the first archeological dig conducted by a Jew (Captain Raymond Weill) of a primarily Jewish site took place here. The Jerusalem Foundation supported the City of David Expedition in 1978 that marked the beginning of the first systematic effort to excavate, preserve and restore the site. Excavations took place over many years under the direction of archeologist Yigal Shilo and later Ronny Reich. The site includes Jerusalem’s oldest houses—5,000-year old, one-room, early Canaanite structures– arrowheads from Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar’s siege of Jerusalem in 586 BCE and other important finds.