Skip to comments.Camel bones suggest error in Bible, archaeologists say
Posted on 02/05/2014 5:24:50 PM PST by workerbee
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Calling it “proof” was such a stretch that I laughed out loud as I read it.
Why weren’t the gates tall and wide enough for a camel to walk through ...
I heard that the “eye of the needle” could be the people-sized door in the full-sized city gate. A camel could get through it but only if it was unpacked and made to crawl through on its knees.
City gates were locked at night, so if you got there late you had to do all this with your camels.
Josephus, the first-century A.D. Jewish historian, records the words of Manetho who wrote several books on the history of Egypt:
There was a king of ours, whose name was Timaus. Under him it came to pass, I know not how, that God was AVERSE to us, and there came, after a surprising manner, men of ignoble birth OUT OF THE EASTERN PARTS, and had boldness enough to make an expedition into our country, and WITH EASE subdued it by force, yet WITHOUT HAZARDING A BATTLE WITH THEM. So when they had gotten those that governed us under their power, they afterwards burnt down our cities, and demolished the temples of the gods, and used all the inhabitants after a most barbarous manner: nay, some they slew, and led their children and their wives into slavery. At length they made one of themselves king, whose name was SALATlS....and as he found in the Saite Nomos [Seth-roite] a city very proper for his purpose, and which lay upon the Bubastic channel [of the Nile], but with regard to a certain theologic notion was called AVARIS [RAMESSES], this he REBUILT, and made very strong by the walls he built about it, and by a most numerous garrison of two hundred and forty thousand armed men whom he put into it to keep it....THIS WHOLE NATION WAS STYLED HYCSOS, that is, SHEPHERD-KINGS....BUT SOME SAY THAT THESE PEOPLE [THE HYKSOS] WERE ARABIANS....” These people, whom we have before named kings, and called shepherds also, and their descendants,” as he [Manetho] says, “kept possession of Egypt 511 YEARS.” — Josephus, Against Apion, bk. 1, sec. 14. f.
An ancient tradition, which has been preserved by several Arabian historians of the Middle Ages, further proves the ARAB origin of Manetho’s hated Hyksos kings. This tradition “tells us of a certain Sheddad (the name means ‘a mighty man’), the son of Ad, who made an IRRUPTION INTO EGYPT, conquered the country, and extended his victorious campaign AS FAR AS THE STRAIGHTS OF GILBRALTA. He and his descendants, the FOUNDERS OF THE AMALEKITE DYNASTY, are said to have maintained themselves more than two hundred years in Lower Egypt, where they made the town of AVARIS their royal residence.” (A History of Egypt Under the Pharaohs, by Henry Brugsch Bey. Vol. I. John Murray, London. 1881, p. 266.)
THEY WERE ARABS, WHO CONQUERED A WEAKENED EGYPT AT THE TIME OF THE EXODUS AND THEY BROUGHT THEIR CAMELS WITH THEM.
The accuracy of carbon-14 dating relies on faulty assumptions, and is subject to human bias. At best, radiocarbon dating is only accurate for the past few thousand years.
Science Falsely So Called strikes again.
I found a 1984 penny in a parking lot that was not built until 1998.
It is absolute, incontrovertible proof of time travel, teleportation, alternate universes and likely counterfeiting.
Why are they so obsessed with camels in Israel. Abraham wasn’t from Israel, he was from UR (Iraq) and maybe he brought his camels with him.
Camel meat from young camels was sold in suqs back in the 70’s when I lived in the ME.
Tastes like beef when the camel is young. Nothing weird or smelly about it.
In addition to challenging the Bible’s historicity, this anachronism is direct proof that the text was compiled well after the events it describes, reads a press release announcing the research.
So this is what amounts to “science” nowadays? Trying to poke holes in the Bible and making press releases about it?
Yet we are also supposed to believe they are unbiased and have no agenda.
IIrc, the Eye of the Needle was a particular gate, not just any ol’ gate.
The Eye was the “night gate” and made small enough that only one (or two men, side by side, not sure) man at a time, possibly towing a donkey, could get through.
To get camels through if, say, a caravan arrived after the main gates closed for the night and wanted to get themselves and their goods into the city anyway, camels not only had to be unloaded, but put into a kneeling/sitting position and then dragged from the front and pushed from the rear to get them through.
It was a whole different type needle than the ones that angles dance upon the heads of.
It is my understanding there were two types of gates...main gates for commerce and built into one of the main gates was a smaller man size gate. Kinda like the doors used on old fire station doors. Camels could not enter through the man size gate.
There was no “gate” called the Eye of the Needle during the time of Christ. It was built during the Middle Ages.
Christ is making a rhetorical statement in Matthew 19:24-25 and Luke 18:25.
This is similar to falconry, where (historically, although this is no longer permitted in most areas) an animal can be held long enough to serve and then released before it loses its wild instincts.
Absence of evidence isn’t evidence of absence.
Manure piles. Find a few old ones and they can tell a very interesting tale as far as what was being fed and how well, also much easier to date this close to modern times usually.
Ah, you are just trying to out us oldsters. Yeah, I remember it. Seems it was the same time frame as the commercial with the camel saying, “I want a Clark bar”.
Yes, Tareyton. I am embarrassed to admit that the commercial, which had the slogan, “I’d rather fight than switch” won over the young me.
You open the gate.
Well, they did “pinpoint” it so I guess there’s no need for further discussion.
Im not sure where to start?
Gen. 12:16, Gen. 24:10-11 (3), Gen. 24:14, Gen. 24:19-20 (2), Gen. 24:22, Gen. 24:30-32 (4), Gen. 24:35, Gen. 24:44, Gen. 24:46 (2), Gen. 24:61, Gen. 24:63, Gen. 30:43, Gen. 31:17, Gen. 32:7, Gen. 32:15, Gen. 37:25, Exo. 9:3, Jdg. 6:5, Jdg. 7:12, 1Sa. 27:9, 1Sa. 30:17, 1Ki. 10:2, 1Ch. 5:21, 1Ch. 12:40, 1Ch. 27:30, 2Ch. 9:1, 2Ch. 14:15, Ezr. 2:67, Neh. 7:69, Job. 1:3, Job. 1:17, Job. 42:12, Isa. 21:7, Isa. 60:6 (2), Jer. 49:29, Jer. 49:32, Eze. 25:5
http://archaeology.about.com/od/cterms/g/camels.htm: Evidence for the domestication of Bactrian camels has been found as early as 2600 BC at Shar-i Sokhta (also known as the Burnt City), Iran.
http://bibleapologetics.wordpress.com/2011/04/24/were-camels-domesticated-in-the-time-of-abraham/  Both the dromedary (the one-humped camel of Arabia) and the Bactrian camel (the two-humped camel of Central Asia) had been domesticated since before 2000 BC., Scarre, Smithsonian Timelines of the Ancient World, p. 176 (1993).
 As far as hard dates go, the 2500-1500 B.C. suggested earlier for the introduction of the camel into Somalia is the best that can be done from available data. Given the stage domestication had reached by the time the camels and their owners crossed the sea, some additional time must be allowed for earlier stages. Taking this into consideration, it is easily conceivable that the domestication process first got underway between 3000 and 2500 B.C., Bulliet, The Camel and the Wheel, p. 56 (1990 ed., originally published 1975).
 Found in a context datable to 2700 B.C., the remains led the excavators to argue that camel domestication began in Turkmenia and spread south (Compagnoni and Tosi 1978: 9599). The domestic camel was apparently known to the inhabitants of the Indus Valley Civilization by 2300 B.C., although the species utilized remains open to question (Meadow 1984: 134 and references)., Zarins, Camel, in Freedman (ed.), Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary (electronic ed. 1996).
 Archeological discoveries have now shown clearly that references to domesticated camels in Genesis are by no means anachronistic, as some earlier scholars supposed. While camel caravans seem to have been used regularly only from the Late Bronze Age onward, archeologists have found numerous bones of domesticated camels. Thus when Parrot was excavating Mari, he found camel bones in the ruins of a house dated in the pre-Sargonic period (ca 2400 B.C.). An eighteenth-century-B.C. relief from Byblos pictured a camel in a kneeling position, and a socket on the back showed that the animals hump and its load had been attached separately. In accord with patriarchal traditions, cylinder seals from Middle Bronze Age Mesopotamia showed riders seated upon camels., Harrison, Genesis, in Bromiley (ed.), International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, volume 3, p. 547 (rev. ed. 1988).
 Excavations in eastern Arabia, an area once believed to be a cultural backwater unworthy of archaeological investigation, have turned up evidence that camels were first domesticated by Semites before the time of Abraham. Much of this evidence has been examined by M. C. A. MacDonald of the Oriental Faculty at the University of Oxford, Caesar, Bible and Spade (13.77), 2000.
 However, there is now a growing body of scholars who believe that camel domestication must have occurred earlier than previously thought (prior to the 12th century BC) and that the patriarchal narratives accurately reflect this (e.g., Ripinsky 1984; Coote and Whitelam 1987: 102; Zarins 1992: 826; Borowski 1998: 11218)., Younker, Bronze Age Camel Petroglyphs In The Wadi Nasib, Sinai, Bible and Spade (13.75), 2000.
Richard W. Bulliet, "The Camel and the Wheel," pp. 64,65 : These five pieces of evidence, needless to say, may not convince everyone that the domestic camel was known in Egypt and the middle east on an occasional basis between 2500 and 1400 BC. Other early depictions, alleged to be of camels which look to my eyes like dogs, donkeys, horses, dragons, or even pelicans, might be more convincing to some then the examples described above...
It means simply that in the nineteenth and eighteenth centuries BC when Abraham and his immediate descendents appeared to have lived, camels were already known in small numbers in the northwest corner of the Arabian desert where the Western Arabian trade route branched out to go to Egypt or further into Syria. Local tribes in the area may have owned a few of the animals, perhaps as articles of prestige, without being heavily involved in breeding them. (Transcribed using speech to text software.)
Well gosh...even Gentiles understand that Moses wrote about the events from Adam to Abraham. I've never heard any assertions that he didn't. Is this some surprise to these "scholars"?
“Its strange to think of a time when the government actually gave cigarettes to the soldiers as part of their rations. All things considered, Id trade these days for those.”
They used to give ‘em to us on airplanes when we would fly. And on college campuses there were those who came to give away free cigarettes.
If they had found some Baal temple with writing on the wall talking about camels, they would have exclaimed, “What a find!”
The bible is the only writing I know that has to constantly prove itself (and does so) yet tells everyone that it must be taken on faith. Every other early writing is taken on faith without a shred of proof.
Thanks, bunkerhill. That pretty well rips this halfass theory. I also noticed the site he was investigating isn’t even in Israel. The fact the prof leads with his Bible is wrong conclusion is a tipoff that this guy is starting from a conclusion and looking for “evidence” to support it.
They are continually finding new archaeological items that both verify and push back the Hebrew existence in Jerusalem and the Roman Province of Palestine, even at the Temple Mount/Second Temple walls.
Funny. There was no mention of Palestinians back then.
Amen Harley. When you tell the average person that the Bible is the most reliable (historically) ancient document we have they chuckle to themselves like ignorant fools. I have even had people tell me that Jesus was not a real figure but when you point out that he is mentioned in non-Christian writings of the time you get a blank vague stare. People are willfully ignorant in a lot of cases - when you tell them to check out Josephus or Tacitus they won’t or don’t bother! Archaeological finds continue to reinforce the accuracy of the Bible and have done so as long as people have been looking - so much so that if it were any other document people would check their findings against it and question themselves a second time if they found something in disagreement with it!
Seriously well done Daniel!!!
The few camel bones found in earlier archaeological layers probably belonged to wild camels.
Probably? They make everything sound so factual but then everything is probably. Geezzzzzzz.........
The passage about Jesus in Josephus seems to be a later insertion by a Christian copyist. The early Christian apologists who might be expected to cite the Josephus passage don’t. It’s possible the Josephus did briefly mention Jesus, but that a later copyist “improved” on what he said. Tacitus’ passage, on the other hand, is genuine.
Ancient historians debate the reliability of other ancient texts—Herodotus, Livy, Egyptian inscriptions, etc. It’s just that there isn’t as much riding on the verdict.
This article has a bizarre conclusion. Camels in Somalia, in Saudi, and in Mesopotamia in early to middle Bronze Age (3000-2000BCish), but somehow they're not permitted to be in an area that's at the juncture of all those areas.
Something or someone's logic smells shallow to me.
Dromedaries may have first been domesticated by humans in Somalia and southern Arabia, around 3,000 BC, the Bactrian in central Asia around 2,500 BC, as at Shar-i Sokhta (also known as the Burnt City), Iran.
In accord with patriarchal traditions, cylinder seals from Middle Bronze Age Mesopotamia showed riders seated upon camels.
Unfortunately, Helen Thomas died last year.
I would add that when dating things such as the domestication of animals, evidence indicates an "on or before date". The lack of previous evidence does not prove anything, although certain presumptions might be made if a substantial amount of nonsupporting evidence exists. The problem in archeology is that alternative explanations almost always exist, and there is strong temptation for archeologists to agree, so that they can move on to assembling the rest of the puzzle.
For example, if a civilization without a written language worshipped Jaguars, but also forbade the depiction of their God (the Jaguar), archeologist might come to some spurious conclusions.