Israeli scientists confirm biblical narratives with geomagnetic testing

Team lead by Israeli researchers confirms biblical account of Babylonian invasion of Israel, additional ancient narratives.

By Adina Katz, World Israel News

Israeli researchers from Tel Aviv University and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem were able to confirm the veracity of several classic biblical narratives after leveraging advanced geomagnetic testing at a number of ancient sites.

The researchers led a team of scientists and students from some 20 different countries, who used the new dating method to determine the age of 21 layers of destruction at 17 various biblical sites in the Jewish State.

Geophysicists used an innovative method of analyzing magnetic minerals found at the sites which, when burned or heated, can confirm the presence of the field at a specific point in time.

Coupled with an account of historical battles recorded in the bible, the researchers were able to track the path of destruction caused by the ancient Babylonian army and others who invaded the Land of Israel in antiquity.

“Based on the similarity or difference in intensity and direction of the magnetic field, we can either corroborate or disprove hypotheses claiming that specific sites were burned during the same military campaign,” explained doctoral student Yoav Vaknin, one of the lead researchers in the project.

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But beyond confirming biblical history, the scientists also successfully used a new form of geomagnetic testing that can be used by scientists to date the age of ancient sites.

“Moreover, we have constructed a variation curve of field intensity over time, which can serve as a scientific dating tool, similar to the radiocarbon dating method,” Vaknin added.

“The last days of the Kingdom of Judah are widely debated. Some researchers, relying on archaeological evidence, argue that Judah was not completely destroyed by the Babylonians,” said Professor Erez Ben Yosef.

“While Jerusalem and frontier cities in the Judean foothills ceased to exist, other towns in the Negev, the southern Judean Mountains and the southern Judean foothills remained almost unaffected. Now, the magnetic results support this hypothesis, indicating that the Babylonians were not solely responsible for Judah’s ultimate demise.”

Ben Yosef noted that seeing the scale of the destruction and understanding which groups had been responsible for the various catastrophes documented in the bible can explain why some verses are particularly harsh towards those groups.

“Several decades after they had destroyed Jerusalem and the First Temple, sites in the Negev, which had survived the Babylonian campaign, were destroyed – probably by the Edomites who took advantage of the fall of Jerusalem. This betrayal and participation in the destruction of the surviving cities may explain why the Hebrew bible expresses so much hatred for the Edomites – for example, in the prophecy of Obadiah.”

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