Destruction by fire: Reconstructing the evidence of the 586 BCE Babylonian destruction in a monumental building in Jerusalem

N. Shalom*, Y. Vaknin, R. Shaar, E. Ben-Yosef, O. Lipschits, Y. Shalev, Y. Gadot, E. Boaretto

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Evidence of fire is one of the most important features for identifying and characterizing destruction events. Analysis of microscopic remains of fire has developed exceedingly in recent years, enabling archaeologists to examine new questions relating to the intensity of destruction events and to the circumstances of the creation of destruction layers. One of the most crucial events in the history of the Southern Levant is the Babylonian destruction of Judah and its capital Jerusalem in 586 BCE, which shaped the biblical narrative and theology for generations to come. Building 100 was an extraordinarily large and rich elite building, thoroughly destroyed during the Babylonian campaign. This paper presents a study of the destruction layer excavated within the rooms of the building. FTIR spectrometry and archaeomagnetic analysis were combined in the micro-archaeological study of the remains in order to create a detailed reconstruction of the destruction event. This reconstruction sheds new light on how the Babylonian destruction was manifested in reality in the elite buildings of Jerusalem.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number105823
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science
Volume157
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Elsevier Ltd

Keywords

  • Archaeomagnetism
  • Babylonian destruction
  • FTIR spectroscopy
  • Fire analysis
  • Iron age Jerusalem

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