A Tiny Seed And The Tremendous Information it Can Provide: Megiddo
With thanks to Eric Cline for sending along word of this report:
Archaeologist Israel Finkelstein is leading his sweating guests to a corner of Tel Megiddo. He points to a black stain on a rock, which on closer inspection turn out to be charred seeds. “This,” he says, “is the most important find at Tel Megiddo.”
In one of the four excavation areas on the mound, each marked by its own flag, we come back to the charred crumbs Finkelstein says were the mound’s most important find. Here, under a rainbow flag, we are told they are tiny seeds that Megiddo’s inhabitants collected around 3,000 years ago. They went up in flames when the city was destroyed. They are important because of their location in relation to finds above and below them. Organic material like this is especially valuable because it can undergo carbon-14 testing, allowing the level where it was found to be dated.
And this very interesting segment-
One of the black layers indicates destruction in the 10th century. Finkelstein’s detractors say David destroyed this city – an idea that Finkelstein rejects because he says the carbon-14 dating rules out the possibility that the city was destroyed suddenly. It shows a gradual process. Finkelstein now believes that the 10th century destruction came at the hands of “mountain Israelites” from the region of Samaria, which led to the rise of the northern kingdom.
There’s a lot more to the report, and I’m hopeful to have photos of the flags mentioned in the report very soon.