Monday, January 07, 2013

Better A Bit Late Than Never

Arutz7/INN does Shiloh archaeology:--

A new archeological find at ancient Shilo fits in with the Biblical narrative regarding the war at Even Ha'ezer, and could confirm scholars' conjectures as to how Shilo was destroyed...The latest archeological find at the Shilo site – a broken vase and remains of ashes from a fire – indicate large scale destruction...Archeologists and scholars now have more evidence to back the assumption that after defeating the Israelites at Even Ha'ezer, the Philistines advanced upon Shilo and sacked it.
At this blog, on October 30, you already saw that photograph

As for the dating, check out this report, p. 266, paragraph beinning "Destruction 2: middle Iron I" and read
The richest Iron I pottery assemblage in the highlands of Cisjordan was unearthed in Stratum V at Shiloh (Bunimovitz and Finkelstein 1993). This settlement came to an end in an exceptionally heavy conflagration, which left destruction debris of over 1 m thick. This Shiloh V assemblage can be labelled middle Iron I (Finkelstein and Piasetzky 2006a), as it falls between the earliest post-Egyptian-domination Iron I pottery groups, and the terminal phase of the Iron I in the lowlands. Several samples of carbonized grain found in two silos which belong to this stratum provided a calibrated date of 1056–1008 BC (1081–1032 BC according to the Bayesian model). Albright (1929) affiliated this destruction layer with the aftermath of the Israelite defeat in the battle of Eben-ezer, related in 1 Samuel 4. Though the First Book of Samuel may preserve memories from the formative phase in the history of Ancient Israel (for instance, regarding the importance of Shiloh – a site which was not inhabited in the later days of the Iron Age when the biblical material was put in writing), there is no way to verify the historicity of the story of the battle of Eben-ezer...

That chronology fits Biblical chronology almost exactly.

As for a criticism of Finkelstein's dating, which doesn't fit the Biblical narrative, see Mazar, pgs, 21/23.

More, p. 46-47:

14C  Measurements
Shiloh V

The Iron I settlement at Shiloh – Stratum V – cameto an end in a violent conflagration that can beobserved throughout the site (Kjaer 1930;Finkelstein 1993). This destruction layer yieldedseveral organic samples. Large quantities of charredgrain were unearthed in two silos in Area D(Lederman and Finkelstein 1993, 48) and charredraisins and seeds were found in Area C (Kislev1993). In the early 1980s, these finds had beenstored in a laboratory at Bar Ilan University andwere not submitted to 14C measurement. With thegrowing interest in absolute dating of Iron I-IIAassemblages, several samples have recently beencleaned and sent for 14C dating.

All 14C dates for samples retrieved from StratumV at Shiloh are presented in Table 1. The first mea-surement of charred grain (Table 1: 1) was done ina conventional radiometric Liquid Scintillation Counting (LSC) method (Aitken 1990) at theWeizmann Institute of Science laboratory. Theother measurements (Table 1: 2–4) were analyzed inthe Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) system(Kutscera et al. 1999). They were prepared by theWeizmann laboratory and measured at the AMSfacility of the University of Arizona.  The dates inthe table are mean, averaged from a number of con-sistent measurements done on sub-samples. The uncertainties correspond to one standard deviation;the full probability distribution can be seen in Fig. 2.It is clear that the charred grain found in the twosilos in Area D (Table 1: 1–2) represents thedestruction date of the site in a margin of a fewyears. The charred raisins from Area C (Table 1: 3)were found in a group and therefore may also beevaluated in the same way. Yet, the fact that theywere found intact seems to indicate that they hadbeen stored as a dry commodity before beingcharred (Kislev 1993, 354–355); in other words,they do not necessarily represent the final days before the destruction. The seeds from Area C (Table 1: 4) come from flotation of debris above afloor in the pillared storage building; they could haveoriginated from bricks and therefore cannot be usedfor determining the destruction date (see Note 3).

The destruction date of Shiloh V can accordingly becalculated from the charred grain reported in Table1: 1–2. But since the dates yielded from the twograin samples and the raisins are consistent witheach other, we can also combine the items in Table1: 1–3.The uncalibrated date for the destruction, reported in conventional radiocarbon years, is 2873± 13BP. This date was obtained by a fit to aconstant (see Fig. 1), assuming (for the sake of cau-tion) that all these samples are contemporary, representing the destruction time. Using the 1998 calibration curve (Stuiver et al. 1998) by means of the 1999 OxCal v.3.3 computer program of Bronk Ramsey (1995) one gets a one standard deviation absolute date of 1050-1000 BCE (Table 1: 1–3, c=0.9), or 1050–975 (Table 1: 1–2, c2=0.2) for this destruction.


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