Negev ‘Pavement’ Earth’s Oldest Surface

The Negev ‘”pavement” is the Earth’s oldest surface, Hebrew U. researchers said. Rabbis say Bible does not contradict 1.8 million old discovery.

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Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu,

Negev 'Pavement'
Negev 'Pavement'
Israel News Photo: Hebrew University

The Negev Desert contains pavement that dates back 1.8 million years, making it the Earth’s oldest surface, according to Hebrew University scientists. They said the “pavement” has largely remained the same and has withstood erosion, volcanoes and underground movement of the earth that has caused major changes to other surfaces.

The Hebrew calendar dates from the sixth day of Creation, 5769 years ago. Rabbis have explained that the mass of “null and void” beforehand may have existed for millions of years. Authorities also have explained that the Bible was written so that everyone can comprehend it, and that one “day” in man’s eyes could be millions of years for the Creator.

Hebrew University researchers published their report in a recent issue of a science journal and the website of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The conclusion of the age of the Negev surface was assumed but unproven until recent the scientists completed their work. Researcher Avi Matmon said that the team of scientists measured concentrations of an isotope that is found only on the Earth’s surface, indicating how long it has been exposed to elements.

The second oldest surface that has survived the elements is in Nevada, but it is only a 450,000-year-old youngster compared with the Negev, he said.

Individual objects, such as rocks, have been found to be even older, but most continuous surfaces don’t last as long as the desert “pavement,” which has outlasted modern concrete and asphalt roads.

Matmon said that similar results probably would be found in the Sahara and Arabian deserts.