» Home > In the News

Irish catastrophe

9 May 2012

The Irish Examiner of May 9th, at www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/6000-year-old-settlement-poses-tsunami-mys… … is a report on a shell midden in Co Clare (mentioned a couple of weeks ago) which is in the process of being excavated. The shells were collected on the shore and brought to the site and cooked by Mesolithic hunters and gatherers at some point prior to the arrival of Neolithic farmers. A date preceding 6000 years ago is altogether likely but it depends on C14 dating of a black layer of organic material that seems to have covered the midden. It is this layer that has protected the remains over the years and its presence is something of a mystery. It was perhaps laid down by a tsunami wave – or that is the current theory.

At www.archaeology.org/1205/features/tel_kedesh_mound_upper_galilee_israel…. is a report on excavations at a site in northern Israel, on the border with the Lebanon. It was occupied over a long time, from the EB through the MB and down to Classical times. It is the latter period that concerns the Israeli archaeologists for the moment, Jewish interaction with the Greeks and the Romans (with the added bonus of Persian material).

At www.haaretz.com/news/national/archaeological-find-stirs-doubts-on-david-… … the so called Davidic era fortress in the Elah valley is continuing to throw up some interesting artifacts. This time, containers modelled as replicas of Solomon's Temple (which was of course a Phoenician and therefore a Canaanite design). What was actually placed inside the containers is unknown but it is assumed to have been some kind of ritual object that would have identified more closely the makers of the containers. As it is it has stirred up even more the controversy over this site. One faction is convinced it belongs to the Davidic era and the other faction does not accept there was a united kingdom in the time of David and therefore it is probably of Canaanite origin. Its a difficult point to mediate as even in the Bible it is intimated that Canaanite cult practises were still in vogue in Israel and Judah all the way down to the reign of Hezekiah and Josiah. In fact, Judaism developed into its modern form during and after the Exile so how close to Judaism might the Monarchy have been? It would have been very similar, it could be argued, so there is a lot of noise over something that can't be pinned down – and modern politics are blurring the interpretations. However, more pertinent to the SIS and the various revisions of history that members of SIS has spawned over the years, including those of James and Rohl, and currently those of Curnock, Sweeney and Aitchison, the fortress, firmly dated to Iron I, cannot have been in the time of David. Even in the James and Rohl schemes David and Solomon are assigned to the Late Bronze Age, and in the Curnock, Crowe, Aitchison schemes even earlier, and in that of Sweeney and Ginenthal even earlier still. We can look at the arguments from both sides with a somewhat detached eye for the detail. One point made is that as the fortress was Davidic the actual temple of Solomon could not yet have been built – so was the model of the temple Canaanite? In a revision of course this is a superfluous argument as Iron I post-dated Solomon and his renowned temple.

Skip to content