A group of researchers from San Diego (led by a chap called Richard Levy, humph!) recently found evidence for a complex of copper mines that carbon-dates approximately to the biblical era of king Solomon’s reign. This is an interesting find, mainly because it’s quite amazing to find an ancient culture that pursued mining in such an organized fashion.
The mines were located in Jordan, south of the dead sea (ack, I hate that place). During biblical times, the same spot was within the kingdom of Edom. It is quite possible that if king Solomon had existed (there’s no evidence for his existence anywhere in archaeology or history outside of the bible, although there’s evidence for other biblical kings) – then this is where he might have imported his copper from. If I recall correctly, Solomon (Shlomo in Hebrew) had good relations with Edom, or possibly, even had some kind of “commonwealth” with Edom (since according to the bible, countries all around soiled themselves with fear of him).
Oh yeah, I almost forgot: creationists who obviously are adamant against radiometric dating will have to skip this material evidence for biblical validity because they don’t seem to “believe” in radiometric dating (and definitely not radiocarbon dating, the evillest dating method of all, can’t seem to figure out why.)
There seem to be two major types of creationist claims against radiometric dating: radiocarbons and radio-anything else. Maybe because carbon-dating is used to date relatively recent objects (the half life of carbon is about 5300 years) – so this might be used to threaten held beliefs that can be refuted by material evidence. This is obviously quite different than radiometric dating used to date samples from the distant past, and since the distant past doesn’t exist under a young-earth creationism point of view, it’s easy to simply label all other radiometric dating methods as false.
Richard Levy also said something quite inspiring, and I quote:
We can’t believe everything ancient writings tell us,” Levy said in a university statement. “But this research represents a confluence between the archaeological and scientific data and the Bible.
Pull the other one?
To that I say: damn straight!