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Christian views on carbon dating

Beginning in 2002, we carried out large-scale IA surveys and excavations in the lowlands.

The largest site is KEN (≈10 hectares) with 100 buildings visible on the site surface, including one of the largest IA Levantine desert fortresses (Fig. KEN was first systematically mapped by Glueck in the early 1930s (13) and identified as the center of Solomon's mining activities.

Here, we report on the complete stratigraphic sequence at KEN from 2006 dated with a suite of 22 high-precision radiocarbon measurements and artifact data.

It was initially sampled by the German Mining Museum (GMM) in the early 1990s (14).

In 2002, we excavated the fortress gatehouse (Area A), a building devoted to copper slag processing (Area S), and ≈1.2 m of the upper part of a slag mound (Area M) by using stratigraphic methods. These dates confirmed the radiocarbon dates published earlier by the GMM (17). BCE, the stratified excavations in the lowlands of Edom provided an objective dating technique that linked this metal production center with the period of the early Israelite kings and their neighbors mentioned in the HB. BCE portion of this Levantine chronology is known as the IA IIa, a highly contentious period, but especially important for historical archaeology because it is partially dated on the synchronism between biblical texts related to Solomon's successor and son, Rehoboam (1 Kings –26 and 2 Chron.

The first indications of human activity were found several centimeters above these sands – a well-built rectilinear installation ≈1 × 0.80 m, with 3 visible “horn-shape” rock features at each of its exposed corners.

This represents the earliest phase of settlement activity at the site.

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Consequently, the rise of IA Edom is linked to the power vacuum created by the collapse of Late Bronze Age (LB, 1300 BCE) civilizations and the disintegration of the LB Cypriot copper monopoly that dominated the eastern Mediterranean.