Goliath's name found in Israeli archaeological dig

ISRAEL - Archaeologists digging at the biblical home of Goliath have unearthed a shard of pottery bearing the Philistine's name, lending credence to the Biblical tale of David's battle.

While the discovery does not prove Goliath's existence, it does support the Bible's depiction of life at the time of the supposed battle, said Dr Aren Maeir of Bar-Ilan University in Israel.

"It means there were people there named Goliath at the time. It shows David's story reflects the cultural reality of the time."

Some scholars believe that the story of David slaying the giant Goliath is a myth written down hundreds of years later, but Maeir said finding the scraps gave credence to the biblical story.

The shard dates to about 950BC, within 70 years of when biblical chronology says David squared off against Goliath, making it the oldest Philistine inscription found.

It was at Tel es-Safi in southern Israel, thought to be the site of the Philistine city of Gath.

- INDEPENDENT

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