carbon14 ressurrection of David
Fri Mar 16, 2018 15:13

It appears archeologists are resurrecting David using Carbon 14 radio-dating, astronomy, and, of course, the old standby 'pottery.

David's name appears arguably in 3 inscriptions

1. Dan Tell Stele (830 bc) - 'house of David'
2. Mesha stele (848 BC) - 'house of David'
3. Shoshenq I (Shishak) temple (~925 BC) in the Bubastite Portal at Karnak, Egypt - 'highlands of David'

These lend support for the possible (or probable depending on the scholar) identification of David's palace by Eilat Mazar and Nadav Na’aman"

Regards the Dan Tell and Mesha Stele inscriptions, most archeologists recognize that this is indeed 'King David' of the Bible..... this because, along with 'David', are found numerous other Judaean kings in these inscriptions.

The Shoshenq I inscription, however, is disputed, and I wish to discuss this. First, the biblical record:

[1Ki 14:25-27 KJV] 25 And it came to pass in the fifth year of king Rehoboam, [that] Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem: 26 And he took away the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king's house; he even took away all: and he took away all the shields of gold which Solomon had made. 27 And king Rehoboam...

[2Ch 12:2-9 KJV] 2 And it came to pass, [that] in the fifth year of king Rehoboam Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem, because they had transgressed against the LORD, 3 With twelve hundred chariots, and threescore thousand horsemen: and the people [were] without number that came with him out of Egypt; the Lubims, the Sukkiims, and the Ethiopians. 4 And he took the fenced cities which [pertained] to Judah, and came to Jerusalem. 5 Then came Shemaiah the prophet to Rehoboam, and [to] the princes of Judah, that were gathered together to Jerusalem because of Shishak, and said unto them, Thus saith the LORD, Ye have forsaken me, and therefore have I also left you in the hand of Shishak. 6 Whereupon the princes of Israel and the king humbled themselves; and they said, The LORD [is] righteous. 7 And when the LORD saw that they humbled themselves, the word of the LORD came to Shemaiah, saying, They have humbled themselves; [therefore] I will not destroy them, but I will grant them some deliverance; and my wrath shall not be poured out upon Jerusalem by the hand of Shishak. 8 Nevertheless they shall be his servants; that they may know my service, and the service of the kingdoms of the countries. 9 So Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem, and took away the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king's house; he took all: he carried away also the shields of gold which Solomon had made.

Here is a chronological listing of the debate on Shoshenq and David

1. 1997: 20 years ago, the well-decorated British archeologist, K.A.Kitchens "A Possible Mention of David in the Late Tenth Century BCE..." (JSOT 76)
---- identified 'the highlands of David' in one of the heiroglyph's on a wall describing the military conquests of the Egyptian Pharoah Shoshenq I (Shishak of the Bible). Kitchen points out that Shoshenq's wall describes his military campaign into the Levant of Canaan including Megiddo, where is found an inscription bearing Shoshenq's name.

2. 1999. Hershel Shanks, archeologist and founder of 'Biblical Archeolist Review (BAR)' in BAR 25/1(1999)
--- lent his support to Kitchens in an article in BAR.

3. 1999. Paul S. Ash in "David, Solomon and Egypt, a Reassessment"
--- took a critical view.

4. 2001. K.A.Kitchen "Ancient Egypt and the Hebrew Monarchies a review article" published by Themelios Vol 26:3(an international, evangelical, peer-reviewed theological journal)

"Ash does not properly understand my reading of name 105/106 as 'highland of David(54,n.166). He cannot read hieroglphs correctly: the w-sign is not a chick(!) but the curved rope (w3), and is definitely consonantal in names 76,91 becasue it is initial; it is not 'problematic' in any way. And if final 'd' can be rendered by voiceless 't' in Ethiopic, wehre Dawit is definitely 'David', then it is possible in Egyptian, which is also Afro-asiatic. ....Astonishingly, this stela is barely mentioned by Ash (56), though it is rightly seen to indicate that Shoshenq intended to maintain control over Canaan" pg 45, Kitchen (Theelios Vol 26:3)"

5. 2003. Kitchens in "On the Reliability of the Old Testament" --- goes into more details.

6. 2003. Hendrik Bruins, Johanees vand der Plicht, & Amihai Mazar in the journal 'Science' ----reports their radiocarbon dating of burnt grains and olive pits at Rehov, one of the 10 canaanite cities mentioned in the Bubastite Portal at Karnak. . This lends evidence that Shoshenq's invasion occured per conventional Old Testament chronology (Floyd Nolan JOnes, Gerard Gertoux, Mauro, Anstey, which is earlier than Thieles, Finkelstein, David Rice

".... harvest of charred grain seeds and olive pits that enabled his colleagues to date them with an unusually high level of precision. The dates of both earlier and later layers showed clearly how the successive layers of occupation could be determined from the 12th through the 9th centuries B.C."

When Shoshenk entered Canaan, he burnt or partially burnt several cities. Carbon 14 (14C) dating of these ashes are very accurate. Gerard Gertoux (below) wrote extensively about this using several tables and charts.

7. 2003 Lawrence E. Stager, Professor of Archeology of Israel at Harvard University in April, 2003 San Francisco Chronicle' who is no stranger to radiocarbon dating see his research regarding Philistine Cemetery In Ashkelon-Israel):

"There's no question that Rehov and the other cities that Shoshenq conquered were indeed there at the time of Solomon. We don't need to rely any more only on the Bible or on Shoshenq's instriptions at Karnak to establish Solomon and his kingdom really existed, because we now have the superb evidence of the radiocarbon dates."
---- see:

8. 2009. Israel FINKELSTEIN and E. PIASETZKY in "Radiocarbon-Dated Destruction Layers: A Skeleton for Iron Age Chronology in the Levant"
--- publish the results of their study in the Levant.

"RADIOCARBON-DATED DESTRUCTION LAYERS: A SKELETON FOR IRON AGE CHRONOLOGY IN THE LEVANT. Summary. We present a full-sequence radiocarbon-based chronologicalsystem for the Iron Age in the Levant, anchored on the dating of ten destruction layers for the years 1130–730 BC. We establish the sequence using two methods– the ‘uncalibrated weighted average’ and the Bayesian modelling. Utilizingfour dating tools in combination – radiocarbon measurements, fieldstratigraphy, pottery typology and ancient Near Eastern historical records –facilitates solutions to chronological problems that are far beyond the resolvingpower of14C dating alone. The results shed light on disputed issues related tobiblical and ancient Near Eastern history, such as the expansion of the earlyIsraelite polity from the highlands to the lowlands; the nature of the ShoshenqI campaign to Canaan; and the evolution of the conflict between northernIsrael and Aram Damascus."

9. 2009. R.K.Ritner in 'The Libyan Anarchy: Inscriptions from Egypt's Third Intermediate Period' (Ed.Society of Biblical Literature pp.206-210)
---- identifies in an(some) inscription(s) the phrase 'Highlands of David'.

10. ~2013. Gerard Gertoux in "Dating the Shoshenq's Campaign in Palestine"

"The charred remains of burned cities enable to establish a 14C dating. For the period 1100-700, excavations have revealed that the cities of Dor, Megiddo, Rehob (all belonging to the northern kingdom of Israel) and Gezer (south) had been burned. During this period,there were four military campaigns in the region fn46 : those of Tiglath-pileser III (deductedfrom his annals) fn47, of Shoshenq I (described on a wall at Karnak), of Siamun (inscription of Tanis) and David (1Chronicles 14:8-17). The dates in bold are from measurements by 14C and the periods are archaeological dating of strata by ceramics:"
---- pg 14-22, Gerard Gertoux "Dating the Shoshenq's Campaign in Palesting"
---- see:

Note that 'Megiddo' was one of the places in the above quote. I remind you that in Megiddo was found an ancient inscription with Shoshenq's name on it.

"The only right way to date the beginning of the 22nd dynasty is to date the end of the 21st dynasty, b ecasue the chronology of these dynasties can be dixed by 14C datings fn9 (highlighted in grey), by synchronisms with the Babylonian and Assyrian chronologies or by some astronomical phenomena (highlighted in blue):"
-- pg 3, IBID.

Then Gertoux lists 31 egyptian kings covering dynasties 20 to 26 in a 6 column table giving the lengths and years (BCE) of their reigns. The result for Shoshenq I is:

Reign (Grimal): 945-924
Reign according to synchronisms: 980-959

Gertoux also discusses the statue of Osorkon I (Shoshenq's son) found at Byblos in Canaan which also has Shoshenq's name along with the local ruler at Byblos 'Abibaal son of Yehimilk.' Apparently the dating of Abibaal and another Byblos king 'Elibaal' (found on another statue) are under debate. Gertoux in 'Jonah vs King of Nineveh: Chronological, Historical and Archaeological Evidence' states:

"The succession of kings at Byblos is: Ahiram, Ithobaal Abibaal, Yehimilk, Elibaal and Shipitbaal fn248. Abibaal was a contemporary of Shoshenq I (980-959) and Elibaal was a contemporary of Osorkon I fn248 (959-924)
fn248 S.Moscati - The World of Phoenicians, London, 1968 ed. ..pp. 10-11
fn249 A. Lemaire - La datation des rois de Byblos Abibaal et Elibaal et les relations entre l'Egypte el le Levant au Xe sieche av."


    • Re: carbon14 ressurrection of DavidJoe Baker, Fri Mar 23 09:12
      Hi Toby I agree that there are references to David in the Tell Dan and Mesha stelae but not necessarily in the Šašanq Karnak inscription. Now I think the information about Šašanq taking tribute from... more
      • Re: carbon14 ressurrection of DavidToby, Wed Apr 11 22:51
        Hello Joe, I'll refrain comments on the Bible part of your posting (not sure where the line is here.) I might be wrong, but I don't think anyone disputes, based on his wall inscriptions, that... more
      • In the 24th (not 14th) year of HezekiahJoe Baker, Tue Apr 10 20:36
        Hi All Further to my last post on the Treasury Chronicle. I maintain the dates in this Chronicle were accurate but one extract has had its date deliberately altered and that is the extract at 2 Kings ... more
        • In the 14th (not 24th) year of HezekiahToby, Thu Apr 12 01:07
          Joe, You wrote: "Now a simple back calculation of the reign dates, given in the bible, from Nabu-kudurri-uṣur’s annexation of Judah in 587 back to the Assyrian 701 campaign would require that... more
          • Assyrian Babylonian DatesJoe Baker, Sun Apr 15 18:54
            Hi Toby I have inserted a “corrected” version of your count of reigns 722bc Sargon 17? years 17 Šarru-ukin 705bc Sennacherib 24? years 24 Sin-aḫḫe-eriba 681bc Essarhaddon 12/13 years 12... more
            • What was Sargon's name?Toby Anderson, Wed Apr 25 23:29
              Hello Joe, You wrote: “Sin-aḫḫe-eriba did name his father as Šarru-ukin in one known inscription, BM 99178 - See page 194 of Eckart Frahm’s “Einleitung in die Sanherib Inschriften” “ I... more
          • In the 14th (not 24th) year of HezekiahToby, Thu Apr 12 01:16
            Apparantly, my simple calculation was too long and this website truncated off the missing part. HEre it is: It was customary for the Assyrian kings to record their titulary back through father and... more
        • Joe, In your posting, you quote the bible. Yet, you deleted the postings on Nimrod when Rich started looking at the Hebrew. Might you explain the rules? Do you have them posted somewhere? Toby
          • Re: In the 24th (not 14th) year of HezekiahJoe Baker, Thu Apr 12 07:42
            Hi Toby There are no rules other than common sense, but note that this forum is called “The Ancient Near Eastern Chronology Forum” not the The Ancient Near Eastern Mythological Forum” which later... more
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