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William Dever, a noted expert in biblical archaeology, will challenge recent European revisionists’ claims that King Solomon was no more a historical figure than King Arthur in an Archaeological Institute of America illustrated lecture at Lawrence University.

Dever, professor of Near Eastern Studies at the University of Arizona, presents, “The ‘Age of Solomon,’ History or Myth? The Archaeological Picture” Monday, April 19 at 7:30 p.m. in Lawrence’s Wriston Art Center auditorium.

The revisionists argue against the existence of a 10th-century B.C. “United Monarchy,” saying writers several hundred years later fabricated the stories as a “foundation myth” to help create an identity for the Jewish people.

Dever, the author of more than 25 books, will present archaeological evidence supporting the presence of a true “state” in 10th-century B.C. Israel, including monumental royal architecture and non-biblical texts that mention “kings of Israel” and a “dynasty of David.”

Dever, who has conducted extensive fieldwork throughout Israel, is a past director of the Nelson Glurck School of Biblical Archaeology in Jerusalem. He earned his Ph.D. at Harvard University.