What is Bible Archaeology
Archaeology is the study of old things. So, Bible Archaeology is the study of old Bible things. These things are the sites, artifacts, people and nations related to the Bible record. It includes things dated from about 2000 BC to about 100 AD and primarily in locations of Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Iran, Turkey, Greece and Italy.
Why is Bible Archaeology important?
Bible Archaeology can be very useful to any one that has a belief in the scriptures. It is probably not best to think that Bible Archeology can prove the Bible is true, but there is much it can do to confirm what we do believe about the Bible and help us better understand the people and events of the Bible.
- It confirms many of the specific people, locations, nations and events mentioned in the Bible. There are many ancient records that mention Bible people, locations, nations and events.
- It confirms that the authors of the scripture had knowledge of specific people, locations, nations and events. There are several Bible people, nations, locations and events that were no record of except the scriptures until some artifact was discovered that contained a reference to them.
- It helps us understand the social, political, economic world where the events of the Bible occurred. The artifacts discovered gives us so much in site to how they lived in Bible times.
How do they do Bible Archeology
Today archeologist use many methods that have been developed over the last 200 years to find, excavate, identify, date and authenticate artifacts.
How do they find artifacts?
Archaeology use many methods to find locations to search for artifacts.
- Field Surveys
- Historical and Biblical records
- Technology like Ariel photograph, satellite photography, magnetic sensing devices
How do the excavate sites?
Archaeologist use several different methods for ecavation of sites.
- Vertical – slit trenching
Archaeologist keep very detailed records of the excavation. They take meticulous record where each is found using grid coordinates and photographs.
How do they date artifacts?
The date of an artifact is an important part of the information about an artifact the ties it to the Bible record. Dating for many artifacts can’t be done precisely and the dating methods use can usually on get close on the date, but not exact.
- Stratification – this method uses the layer in the excavation where the items is found to date it. Artifacts in layers above it are considered to be later in time and artifacts in the layer below are earlier in time.
- The dating is also based on the items that artifacts are found with. Some items are easier to date becuase of their style or technique of construction so they are used to date the other items found with them.
- Carbon 14 – this method determine how old organic material is base on the amount of C-14 in it. When organic material (plant or animal remains) are found with artifacts it can be used to date the artifacts.
- Information in inscriptions on the artifcact
How do they determine artifacts are authentic?
- Where and how they are found
- How they compare to other artifacts that have been authenticated
- Carbon dating