Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


RAIELSP — Result In Brief

Project ID: 229418
Funded under: FP7-IDEAS-ERC
Country: Israel

Ancient Israel recreated

A study of the biblical history of Ancient Israel during the Iron Age combined research methods in archaeology to reconstruct this complex past world.
Ancient Israel recreated
Biblical history has been a source of European scholarship since the Enlightenment. Yet, some areas of conventional research have reached a plateau. Many questions were left unanswered concerning biblical history as related to time, origin, life, mind and identity of Ancient Israel in the Iron Age.

An EU-funded project, RAIELSP (Reconstructing Ancient (biblical) Israel: The exact and life sciences perspective), therefore used a combination of macro and micro archaeology research. Ten research tracks with more than 40 researchers were involved. Fieldwork took place in Cyprus, Greece and Israel. It involved a combination of geoarchaeology, palynology, petrography, metallurgy and zooarchaeology.

As a result, a comprehensive radiocarbon-dating project of 12 strata covering 600 years produced an unparalleled chronology in detail. Going forward, it can be used as a basis for the Levant. Additionally, samples from sites in Greece not only provided definite dates for early Greek chronology, they also helped create a Greek and Levantine chronological link. Part of the analysis was also successful in revealing a climate crisis at the shift from the Late Bronze to the Iron Age. It is quite likely that this played a central role in the decline of the Late Bronze Age system.

Publications of the results can be found in more than 50 scholarly articles and have caught the attention of world media.

Related information


Ancient Israel, biblical history, Iron Age, archaeology, RAIELSP, Levant, Late Bronze
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