Reassessing the chronology of Biblical Edom: new excavations and14C dates from Khirbat en-Nahas (Jordan) Academic Article uri icon

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  • An international team of researchers show how high-precision radiocarbon dating is liberating us from chronological assumptions based on Biblical research. Surface and topographic mapping at the large copper-working site of Khirbat en-Nahas was followed by stratigraphic excavations at an ancient fortress and two metal processing facilities located on the site surface. The results were spectacular. Occupation begins here in the eleventh century BC and the monumental fortress is built in the tenth. If this site can be equated with the rise of the Biblical kingdom of Edom it can now be seen to: have its roots in local Iron Age societies; is considerably earlier than previous scholars assumed; and proves that complex societies existed in Edom long before the influence of Assyrian imperialism was felt in the region from the eighth – sixth centuries BC.


  • Levy, Thomas E
  • Adams, Russell
  • Najjar, Mohammad
  • Hauptmann, Andreas
  • Anderson, James D
  • Brandl, Baruch
  • Robinson, Mark A
  • Higham, Thomas

publication date

  • December 2004