For many years King David was considered a legendary character by some scholars. Then an inscription from the ninth century B.C. referring to both the house of David and the king of Israel was found in 1993 at the northern Israelite site of Tel Dan. The inscription contained the words “House of David.” Here is a quote from the discoverer of the inscription, Professor Avraham Biran:
“In this fragment, a king of Damascus, Ben Hadad, is apparently victorious. . .But what was really thrilling was to find he defeated a ‘king of Israel of the House of David’! So here you have the mention of the ‘House of David’ in an Aramean inscription dated. . .about 150 years after the days of King David. The following year in another scene of excavation we found two more pieces, and these two pieces link to the first one and give us the names of these kings. The king of Israel that is referred to is ‘Jehoram’. . .who is the son of Ahab. The king of the House of David (Judah) is ‘Ahaziahu’ (Ahaziah), who is also mentioned in the Bible. . .the exciting thing here is that you have a historical stele referring to historical events of which the Bible speaks at great lengths (2 Kings 8:7-15, 9:6-10).”
According to Price, “Professor Biran has more precisely dated the inscription to the time of the Aramean usurper Hazael, whom he believes authored the inscription.” The discovery overturned all the skeptic’s theories that King David was just a legend.
A recent article in Biblical Archaeology Review discusses the Tel Dan Stela and a second reference to David found in a Moabite inscription known as the Mesha Stela.
Author Yosef Garfinkel comments: “Thus, there is at least one, and possibly two clear references, to the dynasty of David in the ninth century B.C.E., only 100–120 years after his reign.” The article refers to the theories that King David was a legendary figure as a “modern myth.”
This type of discovery has been the rule in biblical archaeology, where a person or an event said to be legendary by some skeptical scholars is subsequently proven to be real. Even when a person has not yet been proven to have existed by archaeology, other indicators are found that show the authenticity of the Bible account of that person.
 Randall Price, The Stones Cry Out, Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, OR, 1997, 169.