Geomagnetic dating methods help refine Biblical History

(ORDO NEWS) — Archaeologists from the Universities of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem conducted a geomagnetic study of burnt stones and clay in order to independently date the events described in the Bible.

Many events were confirmed, but some turned out to be quite far removed in time from the biblical descriptions.

During fires, the stones are heated and the Earth’s magnetic field “leaves” its direction in them. This trail can be used to date very accurately. And during wars, fires are inevitable…

The study was led by an international team of archaeologists from Tel Aviv University and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. It made it possible to accurately date 21 layers at 17 archaeological sites in Israel.

For this, geomagnetic dating was used. Scientists have restored the direction and intensity of the Earth’s magnetic field, recorded in burnt stones and clay.

The new evidence largely confirms the biblical accounts of Egyptian, Aramaic, Assyrian, and Babylonian military campaigns against the kingdoms of Israel and Judah.

Geophysicists have tracked changes in the Earth’s magnetic field throughout history.

To this end, they use archaeological finds containing magnetized minerals that, when heated or fired, retain a trace of the Earth’s magnetic field, such as it was during the fire.

Magnetic record of the Earth and the Bible

Geomagnetic dating methods help refine Biblical History 2
Medieval reconstruction of the First Temple

In 2020, researchers reconstructed the magnetic field as it was on the 9th of the month of Av, 586 BC, when, according to tradition, the First Temple and the city of Jerusalem were destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar and his Babylonian army.

Now, using archaeological finds unearthed over several decades at 17 sites across Israel, as well as historical information from ancient inscriptions and biblical stories, researchers have been able to reconstruct the magnetic fields recorded in 21 layers of destruction and fire.

Scientists have used Bible data to develop a reliable new scientific tool for archaeological dating.

Co-author Yoav Vaknin explains that “based on the similarity or difference in the strength and direction of the magnetic field, we can both confirm and refute the hypotheses that certain objects were burned during the same military campaign.

Moreover, we have plotted the variation of the field strength with time. This could serve as a scientific tool similar to radiocarbon dating.”

Why does the Bible speak so harshly about the Edomites

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Map of wars and campaigns in Israel and Judea

One of the most interesting discoveries made using the new dating method is related to the end of the Kingdom of Judah.

Professor Erez Ben Yosef says: “The last days of the kingdom of Judah are widely discussed. Some researchers, relying on archaeological evidence, argue that Judea was not completely destroyed by the Babylonians.

While Jerusalem and the border cities in the foothills of Judea ceased to exist, other cities in the Negev, the southern Judean mountains, and the southern foothills of Judea remained almost untouched.

Now geomagnetic dating confirms this hypothesis.

She shows that several decades after the Babylonians destroyed Jerusalem and the First Temple, the settlements in the Negev that had survived the Babylonian invasion were destroyed, probably by the Edomites.

They took advantage of the fall of Jerusalem. This betrayal may explain why the Bible expresses such hatred of the Edomites for example, in the prophecy of Obadiah.”


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