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Biblical stories of military events in kingdoms of Israel, Judah really did happen, archaeologists show

Biblical stories of military campaigns against the kingdoms of Israel and Judah appear to be more than just legendary stories, according to the latest scientific research. Researchers in Israel say ancient Egyptians, Arameans, Assyrians, and Babylonians really waged these battles. The team found evidence of these historical events in burnt remnants from 21 archaeological sites.

Study authors were able to connect them with Earth’s geomagnetic field at the time. The analysis shows the army of Hazael, King of Aram-Damascus, was responsible for the destruction of several cities. They include Tel Rehov, Tel Zayit, Horvat Tevet, and Gath — one of the five Philistine states.

Findings also indicate the Edomites razed parts of Southern Judah to the ground after taking advantage of the fall of Jerusalem.

The study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, also refutes the theory that Hazael conquered Tel Beth-Shean.

“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. 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,” says lead author Yoav Vaknin, a student at the Hebrew University, in a media release.

Earth’s ever-changing geomagnetic field is generated by the motion of liquid iron in the outer core of the planet. It shields the planet from dangerous radiation and enables technology to function, from satellites to phone lines.

Various dating methods have placed the destruction of Gath in the Judean foothills at around 830 BC. However, researchers were unable to verify that Hazael was also responsible for the destruction of Tel Rehov, Tel Zayit, and Horvat Tevet.

Vaknin and colleagues synchronized the magnetic fields recorded at all four sites, making a very strong case for them occurring during the same campaign, but they recorded a totally different magnetic field at Tel Beth-Shean — suggesting it wasn’t attacked by Hazael.

Read more at Study Finds

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