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In a thousand years, the consensus among archaeologists will be that Francesca Stavrakopoulou never existed. The legend will say that she was a an attractive and lively lecturer in religion at the University of Exeter. The evidence will be in clear contradiction of this pious myth. For a start, the scholars will say, Stavrakopoulou was not a name that belonged to the Kingdom of Devon. It must have been projected on to history by later Hellenic colonists. Indeed, historians will say (based on written records from the 19th century, since 20th-century electronic records will have corrupted into nothing) women were not allowed to lecture at universities in Devon. All I mean is that, though Dr Stavrakopoulou’s television exploration of the archaeology and history of 10th-century BC Israel and Juda was agreeably Reithian in its mixture of information and entertainment, it had nothing much to do with the religious import of the Bible. As far as archaeology went, the argument was fairly old hat – really a re-run of the 19th-century argument over Heinrich Schliemann and the so-called Mask of Agamemnon. The big question then was: did Troy ever exist? People cared passionately. The difference is that no one much still worshipped Zeus. They do still worship the God of David. But Francesca Stavrakopoulou’s King David was a straw man put together in order to be pulled down. Every historian or archaeologist on the programme had his own theory of what the shepherd-king was really like. Instead of inspecting inscriptions on Moabite stelae, they’d find out much more from Psalm 23.www.telegraph.co.uk...