Israeli research uses Earth’s magnetic field to verify event in Bible’s Book of Kings

The Jerusalem Post reports: “Using a ‘breakthrough’ technology based on measuring the magnetic field recorded in burnt bricks, researchers at four Israeli universities have corroborated the occurrence of an event described in the Bible’s Second Book of Kings – the conquest of the Philistine city of Gath by Hazael, King of Aram.

The discovery – achieved by scientists from Tel Aviv University (TAU), the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (HU), Bar-Ilan University (BIU) in Ramat Gan, and Ariel University in Samaria – will make it possible for archaeologists to identify burnt materials discovered in excavations and estimate their firing temperatures.

‘Our findings are important for determining the intensity of the fire and the scope of destruction in Gath – the largest and most powerful city in the land at the time – and also for understanding construction practices in the region,’ they wrote in the journal PLOS ONE under the title ‘Applying thermal demagnetization to archaeological materials: A tool for detecting burnt clay and estimating its firing temperature.’

Applying their method to findings from ancient Gath (Tell es-Safi, located between the cities of Ashkelon and Beit Shemesh in central Israel), the researchers validated the biblical account: ‘About this time. Hazael King of Aram went up and attacked Gath and captured it. Then he turned to attack Jerusalem’ (2 Kings 12, 18)…”

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