ISRAEL’S BURGEONING KINGDOM. By the beginning of the Iron Age II (1000–586 BC), a number of fortified cities of considerable size emerged in the southern Levant. One of these is the imposing site of Khirbet Qeiyafa, established in the early tenth century BC and identified by some with biblical Shaaraim (1 Samuel 17:52). Many scholars associate the development and fortification of urban sites during this period with the emergence of ancient Israel’s United Monarchy under David and Solomon.