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Archaeologists Devise a Higher Clock for Biblical Times


Curiously, other data indicate that, a few century later, Hazael’s soldiers set fire to several settlements: Tel Rehov, Tel Zayit and Horvat Tevet, along with Gath, considered one of the five royal cities of the Philistines (and residential to Goliath), whose destruction is noted in 2 Kings 12:17. The study, which examined the geomagnetic records in any respect 4 sites on the time of demolition, strongly suggests that they were burned in the course of the same military offensive, in line with the researchers.

Mr. Vaknin spent 4 years pioneering the appliance of paleomagnetic research to biblical archaeology, aided by his doctoral advisers, Dr. Lipschits, Erez Ben-Yosef of Tel Aviv University and Ron Shaar of the Institute of Earth Sciences on the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Besides helping so far archaeological contexts, the technology provides invaluable information on Earth’s magnetic field, one of the enigmatic phenomena in geoscience. “Since instrumental recording of the sector began about 200 years ago, the sector’s strength has declined, and there’s a danger that we’d lose it completely,” Dr. Ben-Yosef said. “Understanding this trend and the way dangerous it’s requires data on the past behavior of the sector.”

Earth’s magnetosphere is a protective bubble that deflects solar winds, streams of charged particles from the sun that gust through the solar system, and cosmic rays from deep space. Scientists theorize that the magnetic field is generated by a layer of molten iron and nickel within the planet’s outer core, about 1,800 miles below the surface, that’s in continual flux around a cast-iron core. As ferromagnetic particles in ancient artifacts cool, their magnetic moments are baked into the alignment. As long as the objects don’t heat up again, they are going to retain what’s effectively a fossilized magnetic field. Each reheating beyond a certain temperature wipes out all previously recorded magnetic signals, in order that the date is all the time of essentially the most recent firing.

From around 800 to 400 B.C., in consequence of changes in the share of radiocarbon within the atmosphere, the resolution of radiocarbon dating during those years is so limited that archaeologists seldom use it.

Dr. Ben-Yosef said he hoped that the brand new dating method would finally settle questions on the autumn of the Kingdom of Judah. While it’s widely accepted that the Babylonians laid waste to the Judean polity in 586 B.C., some researchers, counting on historical and archaeological evidence, argue that the invaders weren’t solely responsible. The intensity of the magnetic field as recorded within the destruction layer of the location of Malhata — a city on the southern periphery of Judah — is different and significantly lower than the one recorded within the Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem, the capital of the dominion.” Which means the 2 destructions can’t be related to the identical event,” Dr. Ben-Yosef said.

The archaeomagnetic data provided clear evidence that Malhata was destroyed a long time later, a scenario that matches the notion that the Edomites, Judah’s southern neighbors, took advantage of the weakness of the Judahites after the Babylonian attack, decimated their southern cities and raided their territory.

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