A gray, fine-grained arkosic sandstone tablet bearing an inscription in ancient Hebrew from the First Temple Period contains a rich assemblage of particles accumulated in the covering patina. Two types of patina cover the tablet: a thin layer of black to orange iron-oxide-rich layer, a product of micro-biogenic processes, and a light beige patina that contains feldspars, carbonate, iron oxide, subangular quartz grains, carbon ash particles and gold globules (1 to 4 microns [1 micron = 0.001 millimeter] in diameter). The patina covers the rock surface as well as the engraved lettering grooves and blankets and thus post-dates the incised inscription as well as a crack that runs across the stone and several of the engraved letters. Radiocarbon analyses of the carbon particles in the patina yield a calibrated radiocarbon age of 2340 to 2150 Cal BP. The presence of microcolonial fungi and associated pitting in the patina indicates slow growth over many years. The occurrence of pure gold globules and carbon ash particles is evidence of a thermal event in close proximity to the tablet (above 1000 degrees Celsius). This study supports the antiquity of the patina, which in turn, strengthens the contention that the inscription is authentic.
|Translated title of the contribution||ArchAeometric evidence for the Authenticity of the JehoAsh inscription tAblet|
|Number of pages||17|
|State||Published - 2009|
- Gold globules
- Jehoash inscription