Archaeologists Uncover Evidence of Biblical Earthquake

“In the first verse of the Book of Amos, the 8th century BCE biblical prophet referred to ‘two years before the earthquake’ as an anchor to the events he was about to relate. Two centuries later, the prophet Zechariah again referred to this destructive earthquake period, so deeply was it ingrained in the collective psyche. Now, for the first time, a team of Israel Antiquities Authority archaeologists in Jerusalem’s City of David report that they have found unprecedented concrete evidence of this 8th century BCE earthquake in the ancient capital. In an upcoming research paper, the archaeologists chart, for example, that in one particular 8th century BCE structure the destruction layer did not show signs of fire, yet other factors suggested the building had been damaged in a traumatic event, apparently an earthquake. ‘This was most notable on the earliest floor of the southernmost room,’ they write. ‘In this room, a row of smashed vessels was uncovered along its northern wall, above which fallen stones had been found. It appears that these stones were the upper part of the walls of the room, which had collapsed, destroying the vessels which had been set along the wall.’ Dr. Joe Uziel [excavation co-director] told The Times of Israel that although his team was the first to identify this destruction layer, in reviewing previous excavation reports, they have concluded that other areas of the eastern slope near the Gihon Spring where the team is excavating also exhibited similar destruction.”

“Archaeologists Unearth,” The Times of Israel, Aug. 5, 2021