MemberNovember 2, 2021 at 8:12 am
The late Dr. David Livingston, (also associated with ABR) has argued for HERE that Khirbet Nisya should also be considered a candidate for AI. He excavated there. I had just read or saw this article a few days ago and remembered seeing and reading some of it and I just searched through my web history to bring it up after Deborah Hurn made a post on this AI topic which awakened my interest or caught my recollection of the article before it faded from my memory.
I’m not going to wade into all the details, but my impression of the article is that David Livingston makes a strong case based on the overall geography of the area and that he does tie in well the other mentions in scripture … about general placement of the city in correct location relative to other locations. He also gets into finely tuned arguments on other locations like Bethel and Beth Aven that sound reasonable.
It is probably worth a read for those who want to get to the bottom of this particular question about the location of AI and compare the various locations put forth.
David’s Livingston’s suggestion is a bit boring only because of a lack of finds of the architecture and required buildings on top of his proposed AI location. He argues (convincingly) that mudbrick decays over time and that future scavengers for building materials have typically carted away older building stones (for foundations for example) to be reused later by people who would rather reuse an already made stone than quarry or chisel out a new stone for a new project. (I’m elaborating … he didn’t get too into that explanation or he worded it different.) But yet he says that substantial pottery finds in the immediate area make a conclusive case the area was inhabited and the right time for the conquest.
He also suggests that AI had to have been reoccupied (of which their is some evidence for this site, while he argues that other proposed site wasn’t reoccupied. His belief the Bible requires the site to have been reoccupied comes from the Biblical text of either Nehemiah or Ezra or both (I forget) but it says that men of Bethel and Ai were included in a census of those going back to Jerusalem and Israel after Cyrus gave the order or permission for the Jews to do so.
I need to get back to studying something different… something that might help me better understand a potential location of Sodom within the walking distance for the angels that left Abraham after a mid-day meal to arrive in Sodom at around sunset. Long story about that though… it ought to wait until I learn more details. Some modern satellites regularly image the ground looking at different electromagnetic frequencies other than RGB colors. Again long story… and I’ve yet to begin down that path of investigation.