Newly published research by two archaeologists at Tel Aviv University in Israel shows that camels weren't domesticated in the eastern Mediterranean until the 10th century B.C.—several centuries after the time they appear in the Bible.
While there are conflicting theories about when the Bible was composed, the recent research suggests it was written much later than the events it describes. This supports earlier studies that have challenged the Bible's veracity as a historic document.
The biblical angle wasn't the focus of the recent research, though, just an after-the-fact observation.
The study, published late last year in Tel Aviv: Journal of the Institute of Archaeology of Tel Aviv University, concerned the introduction of domesticated camels at copper smelting sites in Israel's Aravah Valley.
The dromedary, or one-humped camel that so many tourists picture when they think of the Middle East, is mentioned in the Bible 47 times. Stories about the Jewish patriarchs—Abraham, Joseph, and Jacob—include descriptions of camels as domesticated animals. For example, Genesis 24:11 says, "And he made his camels to kneel down without the city by a well of water at the time of the evening, even the time that women go out to draw water."
Written By: Mairav Zonszein
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