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A new Weizmann Institute study has discovered radiocarbon-dating evidence of the First Temple period under a tower in Jerusalem’s City of David that was previously dated to the Canaanite period.
The findings, based on soil samples taken from under a seven-meter thick walled tower, shave nearly a thousand years from previous archaeological dating of the structure, which placed it c.
Based on pottery and architectural signifiers, the heavily fortified structure — and the rest of the Spring Citadel protecting Jerusalem’s precious water source — were dated to Canaanite construction (Middle Bronze II period).
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.
In this article, we will examine the methods by which scientists use radioactivity to determine the age of objects, most notably carbon-14 dating.
A form of radiometric dating used to determine the age of organic remains in ancient objects, such as archaeological specimens, on the basis of the half-life of carbon-14 and a comparison between the ratio of carbon-12 to carbon-14 in a sample of the remains to the known ratio in living organisms. A technique for measuring the age of organic remains based on the rate of decay of carbon 14.
The carbon 14 present in an organism at the time of its death decays at a steady rate, and so the age of the remains can be calculated from the amount of carbon 14 that is left. The cells of all living things contain carbon atoms that they take in from their environment.
So by measuring carbon 14 levels in an organism that died long ago, researchers can figure out when it died.
The procedure of radiocarbon dating can be used for remains that are up to 50,000 years old.