"Were you there?" creationists may ask. Now we know that camels were not, according to a new study.
Science and the Bible have not always met eye-to-eye, especially when it comes to the historical timeline and order of events. This new discovery adds to the list.
In a top university in Israel, archaeologists used radiocarbon dating to determine the arrival of camels in the Middle East. And through their research, the results revealed an error in the Bible's timeline.
In the biblical stories of the Old Testament, Joseph, Jacob and Abraham, most of which took place between 2000 and 1500 BC, the Bible referred to camels as pack animals. However, this is contradictory to the discoveries of Erez Ben-Yosef and Lidar Sapir-Hen of Tel Aviv University's Department of Archaeology and Near Eastern Cultures.
According to their study, the camels weren't domesticated in Israel until around 900 BC. Ben-Yosef further shared that "The introduction of the camel to our region was a very important economic and social development. By analyzing archaeological evidence from the copper production sites of the Arava Valley, we were able to estimate the date of this event in terms of decades rather than centuries."
The research press release also states that "In addition to challenging the Bible's historicity, this anachronism is direct proof that the text was compiled well after the events it describes."
Ben-Yosef and Sapir-Hen studied the oldest camel bones in the Arabian Peninsula. They found them in a copper smelting camp in the Arava Valley, a valley that runs along the border of the Jordan river. They tested the bones with radiocarbon dating.
Moreover, the researchers noted that "The more precise dating puts domesticated camels in Israel, centuries after the patriarchs lived and decades after the Kingdom of David."