Researchers have previously uncovered evidence of strong earthquakes in Israel in the mid-8th century BC in places like Hazor and Tell es-Safi. At the same time, no one found evidence of earthquakes in Jerusalem. In the course of the new work, the researchers found traces of the destruction of that time at the excavation site in the City of David National Park, as well as references to the earthquake in ancient sources.
The documents describe the consequences that occurred in Jerusalem many years after this event, which suggests that the earthquake must have greatly affected the people who lived at that time. More importantly, they found physical evidence in the form of broken pottery, lamps, kitchen utensils, furniture, and destroyed walls. They also found what they described as “several broken vessels” – the damage to them resembled defects on objects from other earthquakes.
The artifacts were found on the layer on which modern structures stand – the team called it “the layer of destruction.” While examining the damaged items, they could not find any signs of fire or deliberate damage, for example, by invaders, so an earthquake is the most likely option. They also note that the depth of the artifacts helped place them in the approximate time of the earthquake, which is described in ancient sources.
The researchers were surprised at what they found at the site, as previous research showed that Jerusalem continued to exist after the massive earthquake. They suggest that, most likely, although Jerusalem was severely affected by the natural phenomenon, it was not the epicenter of the event. The team plans to present their work at the City of David Exploration Conference later this year.
Google previously launched Android Earthquake Alerts System in seven more countries ahead of a global launch next year. The Philippines is one of the places where earthquake warnings are enabled, and Android users recently rated it as effective.