Archaeologists at Tel Aviv University in Israel said they have determined that camels were not domesticated until much later than depicted in the Bible, the International Business Times reported on Wednesday.
The researchers, Erez Ben-Yosef and Lidar Sapir-Hen, said carbon dating of ancient camel bones places them in the latter part of the 10th century B.C., centuries after they were described as pack animals during the Old Testament stories of Abraham, Jacob and Joseph.
The bones were found during multiple excavations in the Aravah Valley, located along the border between Israel and Jordan, an ancient hub for copper production, which the researchers said points to the introduction of domesticated camels to the region by Egyptians.
“The introduction of the camel to our region was a very important economic and social development,” Ben-Yosef was quoted as saying. “By analyzing archaeological evidence from the copper production sites of the Aravah Valley, we were able to estimate the date of this event in terms of decades rather than centuries.”
The Times of Israel reported that the university released a statement calling the duo’s discovery “direct proof that the [Biblical] text was compiled well after the events it describes.”
[Image: “In The Danakiil Desert Of Ethiopia, Dromedary Camels Rest Before Joining Caravans To Haul Salt” via Shutterstock]