Is carbon dating a theory or fact

Get The Times of Israel's Daily Edition by email and never miss our top stories Free Sign Up In addition to protecting the Gihon Spring, the massive fortification served as a sort of security barrier and permitted one entrance to the spring — “from the west only, from within the city,” according to the City of David website.“This is the largest fortress found in all of Israel to date between the Canaanite cities…Since 2012, the IAA has performed excavations along the outer, eastern face of the Spring Tower, part of the citadel. Joe Uziel and Nahshon Szanton observed that the tower does not sit on bedrock but rather on layers of soil, according to the recent study, published June 6 through Cambridge University Press.The discovery of these organically based sediment layers opened up the possibility of analyzing the soil through radiocarbon dating, rather than a dating based on the shapes and materials of discovered artifacts that was previously performed.According to a Weizmann Institute press release, the team can produce “highly accurate results on something as small as a seed.” “Getting one’s hands dirty is all part of building a reliable chronology,” said Boaretto.Two sections of sediment were sampled for radiocarbon dating beneath the foundation stones at two locations to provide “an absolute dating” for the structure, according to the study.

(AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner) Raising and dismissing the possibility that the tower was built in the Canaanite period and reconstructed during the Israelite period, Boaretto says understatedly, “The conclusive, scientific dating of this massive tower, placing it in a later era than was presumed, will have repercussions for other attempts to date construction and occupation in ancient Jerusalem.” How widespread the radiocarbon dating’s repercussions extend, however, is already up for debate. Israel Finkelstein told The Times of Israel that Boaretto’s study, while interesting, is not decisive.“I agree with one of the possibilities raised by the authors, that the radiocarbon dates come from under a restored sector of the eastern wall of the spring tower.Accordingly, the spring tower could have been built in the Middle Bronze Age and restored in the late 9th century or even later,” says Finkelstein, who is a proponent of the idea that ancient Jerusalem had smaller, more modest city limits. Alkow professor of the Archaeology of Israel in the Bronze and Iron Ages at Tel Aviv University, “A Middle Bronze date for the original construction of the tower is supported by similarity to construction methods at places such as Shechem and Shiloh.” (Finkelstein was director of excavations at biblical Shiloh in 1981-1984.) “If indeed an old tower was damaged and restored in the Iron Age, the question is when.“The boulders in the tower’s base in and of themselves do not yield any information other than the fact that whoever placed them there had the ability to maneuver such heavy stones.But underneath the boulders, the soil exhibits the layers typical of archaeological strata, and these can reveal the latest date that the site was occupied before the tower was built,” said Boaretto, a nuclear physicist educated in Italy and Israel, with a Ph D from Hebrew University.

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