Jerusalem Quake Seasonality

$4,535 of $3,800 goal

Raised by 14 people in 15 months

Although the year that the Earthquake of the Crucifixion struck is not explicitly specified in the biblical accounts, the time of year is. This earthquake is alleged to have occurred on the 14th or 15th of Nisan on a day known as Good Friday. This day falls in late March/Early April during the flowering season.

The goal of the research project is determine the seasonality or time of year that the Jerusalem Quake struck. The Jerusalem Quake is an earthquake that struck the Dead Sea area between 26 and 36 AD. This earthquake left a deformed layer of mud throughout the Dead Sea and would have caused shaking in Jerusalem (hence the name). By determining the time of year this earthquake struck, we can get closer to determining if the Jerusalem Quake is synonymous with the Earthquake of the Crucifixion and sleuth the Passion narrative - perhaps the most influential story in the history of civilization.

Did the Jerusalem Quake strike in the spring or during some other time of year (e.g. the Fall) ?

The seasonality of the Jerusalem Quake will be determined by examining pollen in a thin layer of dust and pollen that is draped over the top of the Jerusalem Quake layer at two different locations - En Gedi and Nahal Ze 'elim. Results of the study will be published in an open source peer reviewed journal free for all to see and read.

If more funds are raised than anticipated (more than ~$3800 USD), extra funds will go towards creating a documentary on the research effort and examining the outcrop for dust storm deposits. A dust storm is a possible explanation for the 3 hours of midday darkness also reported on the day of the crucifixion.

Jefferson Williams is donating his labor, lab, and lab supplies for free. His primary collaborator Dr. Suzanne Leroy is also donating her time.

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17 radiocarbon samples go out on Monday. This will enable an age depth profile at Nahal Ze 'elim which is an essential first step for the Jerusalem Quake Seasonality work. Suzanne Leroy has begun pollen work on what we believe is the 31 BC Josephus quake seismite (something which will need radiocarbon dating confirmation). The radiocarbon samples are being processed at Queen's University in Belfast, Northern Ireland at 1/3 to 1/2 the price of a commercial lab and include participation in the article we will write by Dr. Maarten Blaauw and expert in radiocarbon dating, geochronology, and something known as Bayesian Analysis which is used to best understand the radiocarbon date data. Thanks again to everyone who contributed. This would not have been possible without you.
Sample to be radiocarbon tested
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Rewards went out2 days ago and should arrive next week. If there was damage during shipping PLEASE let me know. This is very valuable feedback. And of course, I will replace your reward if that happens. also, if you want a different reward please let me know. Thanks again. This is going to enable a vital part of this research which is establishing a solid chronology of the outcrop with all the major historical earthquakes. With this established, I can be rock solid certain that I am sampling the Jerusalem Quake (26-36 AD), the Josephus Quake (Early Spring 31 BC), and the Cyril Quake (May 19, 363 AD) for seasonality from pollen.
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I apologize for not updating earlier but I got back home a few days ago and the final two weeks of the trip were a blur of business and flaky internet access. But that does not mean I wasn't thinking of you all and your generous contributions. The trip was a big success. I collected 125 radiocarbon samples and 65 pounds of mud samples from two locations in the Dead Sea, collaborated with my co-researcher Dr. Suzanne Leroy - a Palynologist at CEREGE in France, and examined archeoseismic evidence for an earthquake that affected the Temple in ~30 AD (The evidence is beneath Wilson's arch which forms the roof of the synagogue adjacent to the Western Wall in Jerusalem). Your contributions will pay for the required radiocarbon and some or all of the pollen processing costs and is much appreciated !! I will send out rewards in the mail in the coming days. Thanks again !!
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Jospehus (31 BC) and Jerusalem Quakes in EnGedi
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$4,535 of $3,800 goal

Raised by 14 people in 15 months
Created May 4, 2017
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