Evidence uncovered of earthquake mentioned in the Bible

Dr Joe Uziel and Ortal Chalaf from the Israel Antiquities Authority.(Photo: Israel Antiquities Authority)

Archaeologists have found evidence of an earthquake that occurred during the period of the Kingdom of Judah and which is recorded in the Bible.

Archaeologists excavating in the City of David National Park found a layer of destruction, including a row of shattered bowls, lamps, cooking utensils and storage jars inside a collapsed building.

The destruction has been attributed to an earthquake that struck around 2,800 years ago and which is mentioned in the Book of Amos.

Storage vessels after restoration.(Photo: Ortal Chalaf/Israel Antiquities Authority)

While evidence of the earthquake has been uncovered in several sites across Israel, this is the first time archaeologists believe they have found remnants of destruction indicating that the quake also hit Jerusalem, the capital of Judah. 

The excavations are being carried out at the site in the City of David National Park by the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA). 

The excavation area in the City of David.(Photo: Ortal Chalaf/Israel Antiquities Authority)

Lead excavators Dr Joe Uziel and Ortal Chalaf said the 8th century BCE earthquake was "probably one of the strongest and most damaging earthquakes in ancient times".

"When we excavated the structure and uncovered an 8th century BCE layer of destruction, we were very surprised, because we know that Jerusalem continued to exist in succession until the Babylonian destruction, which occurred about 200 years later," they said.

Remains of vessels shattered in the earthquake.(Photo: Eliyahu Yanai/City of David)

"We asked ourselves what could have caused that dramatic layer of destruction we uncovered. Examining the excavation findings, we tried to check if there is a reference to it in the biblical text.

"Interestingly, the earthquake that appears in the Bible in the books of Amos and Zechariah, occurred at the time when the building we excavated in the City of David collapsed.

"The combination of the finds in the field together with the biblical description, led us to the conclusion that the earthquake that struck the land of Israel during the reign of Uzziah king of Judah, also hit the capital of the kingdom - Jerusalem. "