A suite of 37 radiocarbon samples from our 2002 excavations was processed by accelerator laboratories in Oxford and Groningen and yielded early IA dates for the occupation of the site, between the end of the 12th c. 12:2–10), and Egyptian texts of the Levantine military campaign by Pharaoh Sheshonq (Shishak) I, who reigned 945–924 BCE (18).The campaign is mentioned in the HB and absolute dating evidence comes from Shishak's extensive triumphal topographical list related to his victories in Palestine at the temple of Amun at Karnak, Thebes (pls. The KEN excavations bring the early history of IA Edom into the realm of social interaction between 10th c. Although the GMM published 9 radiocarbon dates from the Heidelberg lab and we published 10 dates from Oxford and 27 dates from the Groningen labs, this sample was not substantial enough for some scholars (total of 46 dates) (12, 16) to accept the implications of this new dating framework for Edom.Above this were 3 m of crushed slag and other copper industry debris layers also representing repeated episodes of smelting, furnace destruction, and related activities.
The analytical approach advocated here argues for an historical biblical archaeology rooted in the application of science-based methods that enables subcentury dating and the control of the spatial context of data through digital recording tools.
Advances in IA Levantine archaeology can serve as a model for other historical archaeologies around the world that engage ancient historical texts such as the Mahabharata and other ancient writings in India (9), the Sagas of Iceland (10), and Mayan glyphs (11).
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.
The methodologies applied to the historical IA archaeology of the Levant have implications for other parts of the world where sacred and historical texts interface with the material record.
Accordingly, the events ascribed to the early Israelite and Judean kings from the 10th–9th c. BCE editors of the HB who resided in postexilic times in Babylon and later in Jerusalem. When British archaeologists carried out the first controlled excavations in the highlands of Edom (southern Jordan) in the 1970s and 1980s (7), using relative ceramic dating methods, they assumed that the Iron Age (IA) in Edom did not start before the 7th c.