Raymond Weill, La Cite de David II

The detail, from Raymond Weill’s excavation report, shows the eight tomb structures Weill uncovered in his first campaign, from 1913 to 1914. The unusually large tombs, T1 through T3, are highlighted in green, while the rest appear in yellow. T3 appears to be a smaller version of T1. T2 was also a long cave, but little of it remains.

The wall labeled Enceinte, meaning “enclosure wall,” was cleared by Weill and later excavated by Yigal Shiloh (his loci W151 and W152), who found evidence of quarrying beneath (and therefore earlier than) this wall. Shiloh dated the quarrying to the Persian period (sixth-fourth centuries B.C.E.), when Jews controlled the city. If this quarrying included the extensive quarrying of T1, the tomb could not be David’s because Jews would not have quarried such a sacred site. But is Shiloh’s dating of the quarrying correct? And, if so, in the Persian period did it extend as far west as T1?