We reported last year on the discovery of an ancient biblical-era palace probably dating back to the time of King David himself that was subsequently covered up for political reasons.
Now, the group that stumbled upon the unprecedented find tells Israel National News that they will publicly reveal the location of the buried palace next Friday, January 17, an event that is likely to cause a diplomatic earthquake.
Israel's Makor Rishon Hebrew daily reported last April that a major biblical archeology find in the Judean hills south of Jerusalem was apparently being covered up by the government.
At the time, a member of the Kfar Etzion Field School in the Eztion Bloc of Jewish communities had stumbled across an ancient ornate pillar as he descended into a cave in the Judean hills. The pillar and its attached capital clearly belonged to a royal structure, and local archaeologists said it certainly dated back to the times of the Judean kings, if not David himself.
The undisturbed nature of the find suggested that a large part of the ancient palace was probably buried intact beneath where the pillar was found.
"We appear to have a complete castle here," Kfar Etzion Field School Director Yaron Rosental told the newspaper. "Those who lived here after it did not know of its existence and thus, instead of using its stones to build a new building as was the usual practice, left it intact."
But, when Rosental contacted Israel's Antiquities Authority, he was harshly rebuffed and told to "keep [his] mouth shut" about the find.
The Antiquities Authority later confirmed to Makor Rishon that the find exists, and had actually been first discovered the year prior, but that political sensitivities had prevented archaeologists from exploring the site.
It was pointed out that the find is located in territory claimed by the Palestinian Authority. Uncovering a major and even unprecedented archaeological site that solidifies the ancient Jewish presence in and control of these lands could upset the peace process.