The elemental composition of inks, the terra cotta, tiny soil fragments, or residues such as oxidization, and of ostraca can be determined by a scanning electron microscope, fitted with an energy dispersive X-ray microanalyser (SEM-EDS) – Mc Crone Research Institute of Chicago, and Mikrofokus Oy (Helsinki).
This can often determine the authenticity of objects.
The discovery relatively recently of the extreme fine-tuning of so many of the laws of nature could lead at least some of us back to the old idea that this grand design is the work of some grand designer … our universe seems to be one of many, each with different laws.” (God and Stephen Hawking”, by Professor John Lennox, Oxford University, page 47 , Lion Hudson, 2010) Genesis 1 and 2 The Creation Stories are far more plausible than the contemporary mythologies, such as the Babylonian versions, with their Sumerian originals: for example the “Enuma elish”, in which strange gods battle it out – creating mankind as their slaves, in whichever city you happen to reside. Carter (CMI), observes: “It comes as a surprise to most people to hear that there is abundant evidence that the entire human race came from two people just a few thousand years ago (Adam and Eve), that there was a serious population crash (bottleneck) in the recent past (at the time of the Flood), and that there was a single dispersal of people across the world after that (the Tower of Babel).
I used to observe as a teacher, that I would believe the Bible to be true, if I had only read the opening of Genesis, because it was so remarkably “scientific” for its time – when compared with the products of these early civilizations. It surprises them even more to learn that much of this evidence comes from evolutionary scientists.
New information comes to light by the week, and one year alone saw 300 locations being excavated in Israel.
ARCHAEOLOGY AND THE OLD TESTAMENT Attacks on the Scriptures used to suggest that writing was invented relatively late: ancient Ebla is just one source of evidence to disprove this, with the use of an early North Western Semitic dialect, employing the Sumerian cuneiform script. When scientific archaeologists find a written language – containing and communicating data, they sense a contact with a person and a mind.
Biblical Archaeology must always be seen as part of the wider secular subject, indeed even of Middle Eastern Archaeology; and yet it will always have uniqueness.
Specialist areas dealt with on a site might include: Physical and Cultural Anthropology, Archaeozoology, Palaeoethnobotany, Paleopathology, Palynology (pollen-grains and spores in ancient soil deposits), Post Excavation Analysis, Numismatology (interested in coins and precise chronology related to them), Palaeography and Epigraphy.A few hundred of the five thousand archaeological locations in the Holy Land have been studied.There are fifteen thousand unexplored related sites – Mesopotamia has ten thousand listed sites!The origin of clay used in pottery can be identified using Neutron-Activation Analysis.“Thin-section and the petrographic analysis of the temper and content of the clay enable us to pinpoint the geographic distribution of the wares more effectively,” writes John Mc Ray. There is also Thermoluminescent Dating, Obsidian Hydration Dating, X-ray Florescent Analysis and other X-ray techniques, the use of the Proton Magnetometer, Fission-track Dating, Layer Counting in Glass, Magnetic Dating of ceramics (Archaeomagnetism), Trace-metal Analysis, and the matching of isotope ratios in metal artefacts with their possible ore sites.