New Findings Support the Biblical Account of the Edomite Kingdom

Sept. 23 2019

In the Bible, the land of Edom—populated, according to Genesis, by the descendants of Jacob’s twin brother Esau—occurs frequently as a rival of the Israelites. Although the text specifies that the Edomite kingdom predates the reign of Saul and David, archaeologists have generally thought it was inhabited by tribal nomads up until the 8th century BCE, about 200 years later. A new discovery at an archaeological site in Jordan changes that, as Aaron Reich writes:

[New] research has uncovered the untold story of a thriving and wealthy society in the Arava desert—which spans parts of Israel and Jordan—that existed during the 12th and 11th centuries BCE.

According to [a just-published] study, . . . the kingdom’s wealth appears to have been built on a “high-tech network” of copper, the most valuable resource in the region at the time; . . . the production process for copper is incredibly complex. . . . [T]he research team analyzed findings from ancient copper mines in Jordan and Israel to create a timeline of the evolution of copper production from 1300 to 800 BCE, and found a significant decrease of copper in the slag—the waste product of copper extraction—at the Arava site, implying that the process became more efficient and streamlined.

Ezra Ben-Yosef of Tel Aviv University’s department of archaeology and ancient Near Eastern cultures, [who was one of the lead authors of the study], explains that “a flourishing copper industry in the Arava can only be attributed to a centralized and hierarchical polity, and this might fit the biblical description of the Edomite kingdom.”

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Read more at Jerusalem Post

More about: Ancient Israel, Archaeology, Edomites

How China Equips the Islamic Republic to Repress Its People

In its dedication to bringing totalitarianism into the 21st century, the Chinese Communist party has developed high-tech forms of surveillance using facial-recognition software, a vast system of “social credit,” and careful control over its subjects’ cellular phones. Even stricter and more invasive measures are applied to the Uyghurs of the northwestern part of the country. Beijing is also happy to export its innovations in tyranny to allies like Iran and Russia. Playing a key role in these advances is a nominally private company called Tiandy Technologies. Craig Singleton describes its activities:

Both Tiandy testimonials and Chinese-government press releases advertise the use of the company’s products by Chinese officials to track and interrogate Uyghur Muslims and other ethnic minorities in China’s Xinjiang province. According to human-rights groups, Chinese authorities also employ Tiandy products, such as “tiger chairs,” to torture Uyghurs and other minorities.

Iran has long relied on China to augment its digital surveillance capabilities, and Tehran was an early adopter of Beijing’s “social-credit” system, which it wields to assess citizens’ behavior and trustworthiness. . . . Iranian government representatives have publicized plans to leverage smart technologies, including AI-powered face recognition, to maintain regime stability and neutralize dissent. Enhanced cooperation with China is central to those efforts.

At present, Tiandy is not subject to U.S. sanctions or export controls. In light of Tiandy’s operations in both Xinjiang and Iran, policymakers should consider removing the company, its owner, and stakeholders from the international financial system and global supply chains.

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Read more at FDD

More about: China, Human Rights, Iran, Totalitarianism, U.S. Foreign policy