Ancient earthquake may have caused the destruction of the Canaanite palace at Tel Kabri

Aerial view showing southern storage complex (SSC), northern storage complex (NSC; blue dashed box) and moat (red dashed lines): Credit Eric / GW

A team of Israeli and American researchers has funded from a grant from the National Geographic Society and the Israel Science Foundation revealing new evidence that the earthquake caused the destruction and destruction of a thriving Canaanite castle about 3,00,000 years ago Can be made.

The group explored the 75-acre site of Israeli oil Kabri, which contains a Canaanite palace and ruins of the city, dating to around 1900–1700 BCE, located on excavated, land belonging to the Kabutari scab in western Galilee. The area is co-directed by Asaf Yasur-Landau, Professor of Mediterranean Archeology at the University of Haif, and Eric Kline, Professor of Classics and Anthropology at George Washington University.

“We wondered for years what was the reason for the sudden destruction and abandonment of the palace and the site,” Yasur-Landau said. “A few seasons ago, we began to uncover a moat that runs through part of the palace, but early indications suggest that it was modern, perhaps the most dug in the last few decades or a century or two. But then, in 2019. We opened a new area and found that the trench continued for at least 30 meters, with a whole section of a wall that had fallen into antiquity, and other walls and floors as well as from both sides.

According to the study’s lead author, Michael Lazar, identifying past earthquakes can be extremely challenging in the archaeological record, especially in places where there is no stone masonry and inaccessible building materials such as sun-dried clay bricks and cattle and – Dudbad was used instead. However, at Tel Kabri, the team found a stone foundation both for the underside of the walls and the mud-brick superstructure above.

“Our studies demonstrate the importance of combining macro and micro-archaeological methods to identify ancient earthquakes,” he said. “We need to evaluate alternative scenarios, including seismic, environmental and economic collapse, as well as war, before we were confident in proposing a seismic event scenario.”

Researchers can see areas where plaster floors appear to be uprooted, walls bent or displaced, and mud bricks from walls and ceilings have fallen into rooms, in some cases rapidly burying dozens of large jars .

“It really looks like the Earth just opened up and everything fell on either side of it,” Kline said. “It is unlikely that the destruction was caused by violent human activity because there are no obvious signs of fire, nor any weapon such as an arrow would indicate a fight, nor any unrelated corpse related to the war. We are in other rooms. I could also see some unexpected things. The wine cellar in and around the palace, which we had excavated a few years back. ”

In 2013, the team discovered 40 jars within the palace’s single storage room during an expedition supported by a grant from a National Geographic Society. An organic residue analysis performed on the jar indicated that they contained alcohol; It was described at a time when the oldest and largest wine cellar was discovered in the Near East. Since then, the team has found four more storage rooms and at least 70 more jars, which are buried under the building collapse.

Ruth Shahek-Gross, a professor of geoarchaeology at Haifa University and a co-author, based on the study, said, “The floor deposit would have caused a rapid collapse rather than a slow accumulation of slow clay bricks from the floor walls or the roof of the abandoned structure. is.” , said. “Rapid collapse, and quick burial, combined with the geological setting of Tel Kabri, raise the possibility that one or more earthquakes may have destroyed the walls and roof of the palace without setting fire.”

Investigators hope their methodological approach can be applied to other archaeological sites, where it may serve to test or strengthen cases of potential earthquake damage and destruction.

The findings were published today in the journal one more.

The team found one of the oldest wine cellars of civilization

more information:
Michael Lazar et al, Earthquake Damage as a Catalyst for Middle Bronze Age Settlements: Tel Kabri, Israel, one more (2020). DOI: 10.1371 / journal.pone.0239079

Provided by George Washington University

Quotes: Canaanite palace in Tel Kabri may be destroyed due to ancient earthquake (2020, 11 September) from on 12 September 2020 Retrieved.

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