Excavations in the City of David Under Jordanian Rule
K.M. Kenyon (1961-1967)
A single expedition was active in Jerusalem under the Jordanians, the one directed by Dame Kathleen Kenyon. After her successful excavations in Jericho in the 1950s, she was appointed director of the British School of Archaeology in Jerusalem, the last institution of this kind to be established in Jerusalem (after the French, German and American schools). It was only natural for her to dig in the 'City of David' - the only biblical tell in Jerusalem.
Kenyon's work can clearly be defined as a 'problem oriented' excavation. She was not satisfied with the conclusions that emerged from Macalister's work, and especially not with the dating of the eastern city wall that he had exposed.
K. Kenyon's excavations in the 'City of David' mark the first modern excavation to be carried out in Jerusalem though some of her interpretations remain questionable. For example, Kenyon's minimalist view on the city's size in the late Iron Age II was based on the negative results of excavations in four tiny areas on the slope of Mt. Zion, to the west of the City of David. Subsequently N. Avigad found clear-cut indications of the occupation of larger parts of the western hill in Iron Age II and also remains of a huge city-wall defending that large area. Kenyon's response was a reconstruction of the city's boundaries, which "squeezed" Avigad's findings in a way that maintained her minimalist view - despite the new findings! Today we know that these excavation areas were ill located and that the size of the samples was simply to small to enable a valid conclusion.