Archeologists uncover evidence of earthquake mentioned in the Bible

(Photo: Ortal Chalaf/Israel Antiquities Authority)The excavation area in the City of David.

Archaeologists in Israel says they have found evidence of an earthquake that occurred during the period of the Kingdom of Judah recorded in the Bible.

The archaeologists were excavating in the City of David National Park and found a layer of destruction, including a row of shattered bowls, lamps, cooking utensils and storage jars inside a collapsed building, Israel21 reported Aug. 8.

The destruction has been attributed to an earthquake that struck around 2,800 years ago and which is mentioned in the Book of Amos, Christian Today reported.

Excavations were conducted by the Israel Antiquities Authority in the ruins of an ancient building within the City of David National Park.

They revealed a row of shattered vessels, including bowls, lamps, cooking utensils and storage jars on the earliest floor of the southernmost room.

City of David National Park, also called Jerusalem Walls National Park, is an Israeli national park located near the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem

This layer of destruction had no signs of a fire, indicating that the collapse of the building's walls was not a deliberate event Iraeli21 reported..

This could have only one explanation: the eighth century BCE earthquake mentioned in the books of Amos and Zechariah.

Excavation directors Joe Uziel and Ortal Chalaf said this was "probably one of the strongest and most damaging earthquakes in ancient times."

They said "evidence of its occurrence has been discovered in the past in excavations conducted at a variety of sites throughout Israel, such as Hazor, Gezer, Tel Agol, and Tel es-Safi/Gath.

They said the latest excavations they conducted in the City of David indicate that the earthquake probably have hit Jerusalem as well.


Remnants of the earthquake in the eighth century BCE can also be found at Tel Megiddo in the north; on the eastern slope of the Gihon Spring, not far from the City of David in Jerusalem; and in the Dead Sea area.

The new findings update what was previously the earliest destruction layer of Jerusalem – from the Babylonian conquest of 586 BCE.

"When we excavated the structure and uncovered an 8th century BCE layer of destruction, we were very surprised, because we know that Jerusalem continued to exist in succession until the Babylonian destruction, which occurred about 200 years later," they said according to Christian Today.

"We asked ourselves what could have caused that dramatic layer of destruction we uncovered. Examining the excavation findings, we tried to check if there is a reference to it in the biblical text.

"Interestingly, the earthquake that appears in the Bible in the books of Amos and Zechariah, occurred at the time when the building we excavated in the City of David collapsed," said the excavators.

They said that the combination of the finds in the field together with the biblical description, led them conclude that the earthquake that struck the land of Israel during the reign of Uzziah king of Judah, "also hit the capital of the kingdom - Jerusalem."

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