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Archaeologists Devise a Better Clock for Biblical Times

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Interestingly, other data show that Hazael’s soldiers set fire to several settlements about a century later. Terlehof, Terzeit, and Horvath He was one of his five royal cities (and home to Goliath) of the Philistines, in addition to Teveth. Its destruction is described in 2 Kings 12:17. The study, which examined the geomagnetic records of all four sites at the time of their demolition, strongly suggests they were burned during the same military attack, according to the researchers.

With the help of his doctoral advisors Dr. Lipschitz, Dr. Erez Ben Yosef of Tel Aviv University, and Dr. Ron Shahr of the Institute of Geosciences, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Vaknin added paleomagnetic research to biblical archaeology. spent four years pioneering the application of

Not only does this technique help date in archaeological contexts, it also provides valuable information about one of the most enigmatic phenomena in earth science: the Earth’s magnetic field. “Since instrumental recording of the field began nearly 200 years ago, the intensity of the field has declined and is in danger of being completely lost,” Dr. Ben-Yosef said. “To understand this trend and its dangers, we need data on past behavior in the field.”

The Earth’s magnetosphere is a protective bubble that deflects the solar wind, the stream of charged particles from the Sun that blows through the solar system, and cosmic rays from deep space. Scientists theorize that the magnetic field is generated by layers of molten iron and nickel in the planet’s outer core, about 1,800 miles below the surface, and flows continuously around the solid iron core. . As the ferromagnetic particles of the ancient artifact cool, their magnetic moments are baked into the array. It effectively retains a fossilized magnetic field unless the object is reheated. Each reheat above a certain temperature erases all previously recorded magnetic signals, so the date is always that of the most recent firing.

As a result of changes in the proportion of radiocarbon in the atmosphere from about 800 to 400 BC, the resolution of radiocarbon dating during this period is so limited that it is rarely used by archaeologists.

Dr. Ben Yosef said he hoped the new dating law would finally settle questions about the fall of the kingdom of Judah. However, some researchers argue that invaders were not the only cause, based on historical and archaeological evidence. Magnetic field strengths recorded in the destroyed layer of the ruins of Marhatha (a city on the southern tip of Judah) are significantly lower than those recorded in the Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem, the capital of the kingdom. “This means that no two disruptions are related to the same event,” Dr. Ben-Yosef said.

Paleomagnetic data provided clear evidence that Maruhata was destroyed decades later. This scenario fits the idea that Judah’s southern neighbors, the Edomites, took advantage of Judah’s weakness after the Babylonian attack, destroying southern cities and raiding territories.

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