Zev Radovan / Hebrew Union College / Jewish Institute of Religion

The Tel Dan Inscription. Discovered in far northern Israel, this inscribed stone slab dates to the ninth-century B.C. and contains the phrase “House of David”—the first known historical reference to the Israelite king. At a recent conference in Rome, however, some scholars suggested that the inscription may be a forgery and claimed, in any case, the words “House of David” probably mean something else. Many other scholars find the charge of forgery particularly galling because the inscription was found by one of Israel’s most respected archaeologists.