Based on damaged artifacts found in Jerusalem, experts are convinced that they have proof of a 2,800-year-old devastating earthquake that was mentioned in the Bible. According to the books of Amos and Zechariah, there was a great earthquake that shook Israel “in the days of Uzziah king of Judah”.
A collection of shattered vessels that included cooking utensils, bowls, storage containers, and lamps, were unearthed in a layer of destruction by archaeologists from the Israel Antiquities Authority. It is believed that these items would have been damaged when the walls of an old building collapsed due to an earthquake because there wasn’t any evidence of a fire or any other natural phenomena. These vessels have been dated back to the 8th century BC. (Pictures can be seen here.)
The researchers also described where the items were found, “This was most notable on the earliest floor of the southernmost room.” “In this room, a row of smashed vessels was uncovered along its northern wall, above which fallen stones had been found. It appears that these stones were the upper part of the walls of the room, which had collapsed, destroying the vessels which had been set along the wall.”
Dr. Joe Uziel and Ortal Chalaf, who are the directors of the excavation, explained in further detail how they came to the conclusion that an earthquake caused the damage, “We asked ourselves what could have caused that dramatic layer of destruction we uncovered,” adding, “Examining the excavation findings, we tried to check if there is a reference to it in the biblical text. Interestingly, the earthquake that appears in the Bible in the books of Amos and Zechariah, occurred at the time when the building we excavated in the City of David collapsed. The combination of the finds in the field together with the biblical description, led us to the conclusion that the earthquake that struck the Land of Israel during the reign of Uzziah king of Judah, also hit the capital of the kingdom – Jerusalem.”
Furthermore, they have found evidence of the earthquake in other parts of Israel as the researchers explained, “The earthquake that occurred in the middle of the 8th century BCE was probably one of the strongest and most damaging earthquakes in ancient times, and evidence of its occurrence has been discovered in the past in excavations conducted at a variety of sites throughout Israel, such as Hazor, Gezer, Tel Agol, and Tell es-Safi/Gath.”
Their findings will be presented next month at the “City of David Research” conference.
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