Carbon dating and the bible
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Discussions on the foundation and borders of Israelite-era Jerusalem are often rife with accusations of Jewish nationalism trumping evidential facts.
For those who take the Hebrew Bible literally, the Weizmann study’s findings could be difficult to reconcile with the text.
The separate, sequential layers of sediment were identified using microarchaeological tools and radiocarbon dating, and enabled the researchers to date the strata found at the base of the tower. “Scenarios for the construction of the tower during Middle Bronze Age (MB) and Iron Age II are considered, based on the new 14C [radiocarbon] data, yielding a series of dates, the latest of which falls in the terminal phases of the 9th century BCE, alongside previous excavation data,” according to the study.
Contrary to previous estimates, the date revealed by this radiocarbon dating was sometime around 900-800 BCE — nearly 1,000 years later than archaeologists had originally dated the tower, and well after the presumed reign of King David.
“The boulders in the tower’s base in and of themselves do not yield any information other than the fact that whoever placed them there had the ability to maneuver such heavy stones.
But underneath the boulders, the soil exhibits the layers typical of archaeological strata, and these can reveal the latest date that the site was occupied before the tower was built,” said Boaretto, a nuclear physicist educated in Italy and Israel, with a Ph D from Hebrew University.
As a former newspaper reporter, she was honored by her peers with eleven journalism awards, including first place news writing for The Texas Press Association.and it seems that it is essentially the largest fortress found in Israel until the days of King Herod,” states the website.However, new findings by an interdisciplinary cooperative team of Israel Antiquities Authority archaeologists and Weizmann Institute scientists place the construction of the tower during the second half of the Iron Age — smack dab in the middle of the Israelite period, and much closer to the days of Herod than earlier suspected.The findings, based on soil samples taken from under a seven-meter thick walled tower, shave nearly a thousand years from previous archaeological dating of the structure, which placed it c.1700 BCE — and contradict a presumed biblical linkage to the site.
Left untouched and until now sealed by massive boulders at the tower’s base, the soil that was studied forms part of the structure’s foundation.