Rehydroxylation dating research

16 Feb

Jericho’s abundant water supply, favorable climate and geographic location made it a key site in ancient Canaan.In the 1930s, British archaeologist John Garstang excavated a residential area, marked "A," just west of the perennial spring that supplied the city’s water and which now fills the modern reservoir. Kathleen Kenyon, Garstang’s successor at Jericho, excavated the area marked "B," Her conclusions dated Jericho’s destruction to about 1550 B. By the time the Israelites appeared on the scene, she argued, there was no walled city at Jericho.(A significant portion of the tell was destroyed to make way for the modern road.) Signs of a fiery destruction and his dating of the remains led Garstang to conclude that the Israelites had indeed put the city to the torch about 1400 B. Garstang was the first investigator to use modern methods at the site, although his work was still crude by today’s standards.Dame Kathleen Kenyon, who excavated Jericho in the 1950s, claimed that Jericho was destroyed in the 16th century B. A comprehensive new survey of Kenyon’s evidence at Jericho, however, has led author Bryant Wood to conclude that a walled city existed at Jericho until about 1400 B. After wandering in the Sinai desert for 40 years, the Israelites prepared to cross the Jordan River and enter the Promised Land from opposite Jericho.Before making the crossing, however, Joshua, the Israelite commander, dispatched two spies to reconnoiter the city.

The story of the Israelite conquest of Jericho (Joshua 2-6) is one of the best known and best loved in the entire Bible.The vivid description of faith and victory has been a source of inspiration for countless generations of Bible readers.Because of its importance in Biblical history, Jericho was the second site in the Holy Land, Jerusalem being the first, to feel the excavators’ picks.The first documented excavation was undertaken in 18 by the famous British engineer Charles Warren.Narrowly escaping capture, the spies brought back valuable intelligence collected from Rahab, a harlot who lived within the city wall.Although the Jordan was in flood at the time the Israelites crossed, the waters were miraculously stopped and the Israelites were able to cross "on dry ground." They then marched around the heavily fortified city daily for seven days.Based on his findings, Warren was able to provide an answer to what had been a serious question until that time: He was wrong about the castles, but he was certainly right that the mounds were ancient ruins.