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The aim of the present paper is therefore twofold: to examine the appropriateness of various archaeological periods as backgrounds to the patriarchal narratives, and to assess the arguments put forward on archaeological grounds for rejecting the view that the narratives reflect real conditions in an early period. He believed that occupation in the region ended abruptly 'not later than 1800 BC at the outside', and linked this with the cataclysm described in Genesis 18 - 19.[8] This link suggested to Albright that 'the date of Abraham cannot be placed earlier than the nineteenth century BC'.[9] This fell within the dates then assigned to MB I (2000 - 1800 BC).[10] In 1929 Albright discovered a line of Early and Middle Bronze Age mounds 'running down along the eastern edge of Gilead, between the desert and the forests of Gilead'.[11] This confirmed for him the essential historicity of the campaign waged by the eastern kings in Genesis 14, an event which he had previously considered legendary.

The view relating the patriarchs to the MB I period has been described as 'the classic formulation'.[7] It took shape in the 1930s, chiefly at the hands of W. Albright's explorations in Transjordan were continued in the 1930s by Glueck, who traced a line of MB I settlements reaching most of the length of Transjordan.

Assertion 4, you can see, is another special case of Assertion 1, and similarly false.

[p.59] If the patriarchs are taken to be historical figures, during which archaeological period can their lives and journeys most aptly be placed?

It is assumed that the ratio has been constant for a very long time before the industrial revolution.

Is this assumption correct (for on it hangs the whole validity of the system)?

As with variation in atmospheric radiocarbon concentration, the decay rate of radiocarbon in tree-ring calibration samples would be affected in exactly the same way as the decay rate of radiocarbon in the specimen to be dated.

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Nevertheless, some specific suggestions can be made towards resolving the difficulties and answering the critics of historicity. In the l920s Albright argued that the finds on the plain of Bab edh-Dhrâ, to the east of the Dead Sea, were archaeological proof for the existence of a sedentary population in that area between the middle of the third millennium and the nineteenth century BC.These problems arise from the apparent non-occupation of sites which feature in the patriarchal narratives.In 1949, Albright was able to write that only 'a few diehards among older scholars' had not accepted the essential historicity of the patriarchal traditions in the light of archaeological data, and that it was no longer fashionable to view those traditions as artificial creations by the scribes of the monarchic period.[2] He was able to repeat this statement fourteen years later.[3] Since then, however, there has been a strong reaction against the use of archaeological evidence in support of the biblical traditions,[4] and Albright's comment could not be repeated with any truth today.(Ham et al., page 68.) C ratio in the past, or that this is "the technique's Achilles' heel" is incorrect.The whole validity of radiocarbon dating for the past 10,000 years---the time span of interest to biblical chronology---hangs only on the tree-ring chronologies which are used to calibrate it. .) This process does not involve any assumption about historic radiocarbon to stable carbon ratios because the radiocarbon concentration in the tree-ring samples would be affected in exactly the same way as the radiocarbon concentration in the specimen to be dated. To quote again from The Answers Book: Some recent, though controversial, research has raised the interesting suggestion that c (the speed of light) has decreased in historical times. If it is correct, then radioactive decay rates would automatically be affected, and would show artifically high ages.

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