City of David
A dry tunnel connecting the City of David with the Ophel Archaeological Park adjacent to the Western Wall and descending below an ancient Herodian road, is believed to have been dug as a hideout for city residents from attacking Romans in the Second Temple period. A 2,000 year old iron sword was recently uncovered in the tunnel inside a well preserved leather sheath. The City of David is an archaeological site and home of a park and visitor center managed by the Ir David Foundation, also known as Elad. This Israeli association has a political agenda and openly aims to strengthen the Jewish connection to Jerusalem, create a Jewish majority in Arab neighborhoods of East Jerusalem and renew the Jewish community in the City of David, which is also part of the Arab neighborhood of Silwan. The City of David is speculated to be the original urban core of ancient Jerusalem. Excavations in progress since May 2005 conducted by Israeli archaeologist Eilat Mazar have revealed the remains of a large building known as the Large Stone Structure. Finds uncovered in relation to the structure indicate that it was built in the early 10th century BCE during the reign of King David. In Mazar's opinion the building can be identified with the royal House of Cedar, Kind David's Palace. Other scholars contest this view. The area is one of the most intensively excavated sites in Israel.