Two French scholars claimed to have deciphered the Mesha Stele in early January, revealing a reference to the “House of David” well before Jesus Christ walked our Earth.
The Mesha Stele, or Moabite Stone, is an ancient basalt rock tablet discovered in 1868 that dates back to at least the 9th century BC, according to World History.
After some significant social upheaval at the location of its discovery, at least the last five lines on the stone were broken, so it was unclear how the narrative ended. Shortly before the Mesha Stele was damaged, a paper-mache impression (known as a paper squeeze) was made of the inscription, which has now been used in the latest analysis.
Researchers Andre Lemaire and Jean-Philippe Delorme published an article in Biblical Archaeology Review detailing how they identified a reference to King David using reflectance transformation imaging. The “House of David” inscription is believed to be on the 31st line of the 34 that make up the tablet.
Lemaire originally hypothesized in 1994 that the tablet referenced King David, but it has taken until now for technology to shed light on his presumption. “Numerous digital images are taken of an artifact from different angles and then combined to create a precise, three-dimensional digital rendering of the piece,” the authors wrote in the study.
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