A new article has been published on new radiocarbon dating from Khirbet Qeiyafa, an Iron Age site overlooking the Elah Valley. It happens to be in the same location, as described in 1 Samuel 17, where David slew Goliath. Discoveries from recent excavations have introduced a wealth of fresh data into study of early Israelite/Judahite society.
If you have ever wondered how Carbon-14 dating works or how precise it truly is, you will find this article illuminating. If you are interested in biblical studies or the debate over the development of the early Israelite/Judahite kingdoms, this is relevant reading.
The article is available for download here: Garfinkel et al. 2015 Qeiyafa second C14 project.
Here is the abstract:
Seventeen samples of burnt olive pits discovered inside a jar in the destruction layer of the Iron Age city of Khirbet Qeiyafa were analyzed by accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) radiocarbon dating. Of these, four were halved and sent to two different laboratories to minimize laboratory bias. The dating of these samples is ~1000 BC. Khirbet Qeiyafa is currently the earliest known example of a fortifed city in the Kingdom of Judah and contributes direct evidence to the heated debate on the biblical narrative relating to King David. Was he the real historical ruler of an urbanized state-level society in the early 10th century BC or was this level of social development reached only at the end of the 8th century BC? We can conclude that there were indeed forti ed centers in the Davidic kingdom from the studies presented. In addition, the dating of Khirbet Qeiyafa has far-reaching implications for the entire Levant. The discovery of Cypriot pottery at the site connects the 14C datings to Cyprus and the renewal of maritime trade between the island and the mainland in the Iron Age. A stone temple model from Khirbet Qeiyafa, decorated with triglyphs and a recessed doorframe, points to an early date for the development of this typical royal architecture of the Iron Age Levant.
There is another new article relating to the Qeiyafa discoveries that I will post soon. I am currently en route to Ireland but will upload the other article after arrival.