Stories in the Bible's Old Testament may have been revealed as false following archaeologists' claims that recent discoveries prove camels were domesticated centuries after they were supposedly ridden by Biblical characters.
Stories involving Abraham, Joseph and Jacob see the figures riding the desert animals, but archaeologists claim to have found the animals were not domesticated in Israel until much later. They claim that this discovery proves that Biblical texts were not compiled until long after the events they describe and challenge the book's validity as an historical document.
The Age of the Patriarchs, the period when Abraham, Joseph and Jacob are said to have lived, was between 2,000 and 1,500 BC. But camels were allegedly not domesticated in the region until around 900BC.
Two experts from Tel Aviv University's Department of Archaeology and Near Easter Cultures, Dr Erex Ben-Yosef and Dr Lidar Sapir-Hen used radiocarbon dating to pinpoint the moment when domesticated camels first appeared in the southern Levant and found the date fell in the 9th century BC, not the 12th as previously thought. The finds further highlight the discrepancy between Biblical texts and verifiable history and undermines claims that the Bible is a faithful account of actual events.
Dr Ben-Yosef said, "The introduction of the camel to our region was a very important economic and social development. By analysing archaeological evidence from the copper production sites of the Aravah Valley, we were able to estimate the date of this event in terms of decades rather than centuries."
The oldest domesticated camel bones were discovered in the Aravah Valley in southern Levant, which run along the border between Israel and Jordan. In the ancient world the Aravah Valley was a centre for copper production.
The ancient smelting camp where the bones were discovered was dated to between the 11th and 9th century BC. In later digs in the area the two archaeologist found that the camel bones uncovered came nearly exclusively from archaeological layers dating from the last third of the 10th century BC or later, well after the Age of the Patriarchs.
Any bones found in earlier archaeological layers most likely belong to wild camels, which are believe to have been in the area from the Neolithic period or earlier.Copyright WENN.com