Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

9/5/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Archaeologists say mines previously believed to be Solomon's belonged to his rivals the Edomites

Cold, hard historical truth can be disillusioning, but so be it: Samples from Israel's Timna Valley confirmed the connection between ancient copper mines and the era of the biblical King Solomon. However, these structures have been proven to not have been "King Solomon's mines." Archaeologists now say that these mines are more likely to have been operated by the Edomites, who were among the king's many rivals.

King Solomon's underground riches owe more to pulp author H. Rider Haggard's 1885 novel than to the Bible or historical accounts. There's still a chance that Solomon exerted some control over the region at times, by virtue of military victories described in the Bible.

King Solomon's underground riches owe more to pulp author H. Rider Haggard's 1885 novel than to the Bible or historical accounts. There's still a chance that Solomon exerted some control over the region at times, by virtue of military victories described in the Bible.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

9/5/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Middle East

Keywords: King Solomon's Mines, Edomites, Israel, H. Rider Haggard, archaeology


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - An excavation conducted at a copper smelting site known as "Slaves' Hill" in the Timna Valley, in Israel's Aravah Desert has summoned forth a new, fresh historical perspective. The valley today is part of a national park. In ancient times, the area was a copper production district, dotted with thousands of mines and dozens of smelting sites.

Archaeologists from Tel Aviv University, led by Erez Ben-Yosef, set out to answer just how old those sites were. It was previously believed that the mines dated to around the 13th century B.C., when the Egyptians held sway over the territory. Archaeologists recently used radiocarbon dating to determine that copper mines located nearby, in Jordan's Khirbat en-Nahas region, were actually operated in the 10th century B.C., which is the era when King Solomon is thought to have ruled Israel.

A team of archaeologists which included Ben-Yosef in 2009 found further support for that era at a copper-smelting camp in the Timna Valley known as "Site 30."

An excavation at Slaves' Hill confirmed the connection after Ben-Yosef and his colleagues unearthed the remains of hundreds of furnaces, and layers upon layers of copper slag waste. Clothes, fabrics, ropes, food leavings, ceramics and metallurgical facilities were all uncovered.

Ten date pits and an olive pit were subjected to carbon-dating tests at the University of Oxford, confirming that the camp was in operation during the 10th century B.C.

"The mines are definitely from the period of King Solomon," Ben-Yosef said. "They may help us understand the local society, which would have been invisible to us otherwise."

Ben-Yosef and his colleagues said the mines were probably operated by the Edomites, a semi-nomadic tribal confederation that numbered among Israel's biblical foes. The Slaves' Hill camp suggest a highly organized society, capable of marshaling the labor of thousands of workers in the middle of the desert, Ben-Yosef said.

"It was a society that mostly lived in tents, but still had impressive military power, since it was necessary to protect the copper mines," Ben-Yosef told newspaper journalists.

King Solomon's underground riches owe more to pulp author H. Rider Haggard's 1885 novel than to the Bible or historical accounts. Ben-Yosef said the real-life copper mines were definitely part of the kingdom of Edom. There's still a chance that Solomon exerted some control over the region at times, by virtue of military victories described in the Bible.

Ben-Yosef is planning another dig at Slaves' Hill early next year.



Watch Catholic Online's most viral videos here!



---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2014
Peace:
That the Lord may grant peace to those parts of the world most battered by war and violence.
World Mission Day: That World Mission Day may rekindle in every believer zeal for carrying the Gospel into all the world.



Comments


More Middle East

HORRIFIC video shows Islamic State stoning Yazidi woman - by group of men, including HER father Watch

Image of In a related incident, a man was executed in Idlib province in an area controlled by Islamist groups including the Nusra Front, al Qaeda's official affiliate in Syria.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A sickening video of a young woman being stoned to death by a group of men, which includes her own father, has been released by Islamic State. The video is believed to have been filmed in the city of Hama. The clip shows a bearded cleric ranting at the woman in ... continue reading


Yazidi woman 'I've been raped 30 times and it's not even lunchtime!' Watch

Image of A Yazidi woman over the telephone that she had been raped so frequently that she could no longer use the toilet. She says that her despair is so great she will commit suicide - even if she is freed.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A young Yazidi woman held captive by the Islamic State for repeated sexual abuse says that she was raped 30 times in just a few hours. Kept prisoner, she now begs the West to bomb the brothel where she is being held. It's believed that she's being kept prisoner ... continue reading


Islamic State has infiltrated INSIDE of Turkey with attempt to kidnap Syrian leader Watch

Image of Militants have recently shot and wounded a senior Syrian rebel commander within the nation. The incident has raised questions of Ankara's commitment to defeating the terror group.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While Islamic State fighters batter the Syrian city of Kobani near the border with Turkey, ISIS agents are apparently now currently operating within the nation of Turkey. Militants have recently shot and wounded a senior Syrian rebel commander within the ... continue reading


Jack 'the acid' Ripper: Suspects arrested in connection with acid attacks against women in Iran Watch

Image of Though the attacks have instilled fear in some women in the city, many continue to live their lives without apologies.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Iranian authorities have arrested a number of people suspected of throwing acid at women. Its' believed that the women were wearing their traditional Islamic head covering improperly. The public had grown increasingly angry over the series of attacks in the ... continue reading


Sectarian violence spreads in Yemen, where Shi'ite militia square off against al-Qaeda Watch

Image of A member of the Shi'ite military Houthi organization.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A Yemeni city was taken by al Qaeda fighters, and 33 people were killed by a suicide bombing and gun fighting during the group's challenge to the Yemeni government. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - This is just the latest bout of violence that has erupted in ... continue reading


Al Qaeda launches 'magazine war' with Islamic State in effort to attract new recruits Watch

Image of Resurgence, the new magazine for Al Qaeda.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Al Qaeda is attempting to make a comeback in the public eye following the stunning rise of the competing Islamic State. In an online publication, aimed at a global audience, the terror group is encouraging attacks at economic infrastructure. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


Pope Francis - Petitions UN, Muslims and Christians to address 'ongoing genocide' in Iraq Watch

Image of An Iraqi man flees with children on a donkey amid hundreds of other refugees. Christians and other ethnic minorities have been driven from their ancient homelands and into camps.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis has once again spoken out about the atrocities being committed in the Middle East by the Islamic State, labeling them "terrorism of previously unimaginable proportions." LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Pope Francis lamented, "it seems that the ... continue reading


Islamic State takes mounting death count in Syria Watch

Image of Both Kurdish and Iraqi forces have been battling ISIS on the ground.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Islamic State has taken heavy casualties over the past several days. At least 70 fighters for the terror group have been dropped off over the past several days at a hospital in the Syrian town of Tal Abyad. The town is on the Turkey-Syrian border about 50 miles ... continue reading


Christians, Yazidis and Turkmen face genocide in Iraq Watch

Image of At least half a million people have been forced to flee their villages in Ninewa province, home to minority communities for thousands of years, according to the report, From Crisis to Catastrophe: the situation of minorities in Iraq.

By Kieran Guilbert, Thomson Reuters Foundation

More than 12,000 civilians have been killed in Iraq so far this year, mainly by Islamic State (IS), and minorities facing ethnic cleansing are the principal victims, according to a report published on Thursday. LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Minority Rights ... continue reading


Deadly Sarin bombs now in hands of Islamic State Watch

Image of Officials warned that they had witnessed equipment there being looted on CCTV whereupon the militants shut the surveillance cameras down.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An even more alarming fact has risen to the fore in the war in the Middle East, ISIS controls a vast compound in Iraq containing 2,500 rusting chemical weapons rockets, according to the Iraqi government. While the site was bombed by the U.S. during the 1991 ... continue reading


All Middle East News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ephesians 3:2-12
2 You have surely heard the way in which God ... Read More

Psalm, Isaiah 12:2-3, 4, 5-6
2 Look, he is the God of my salvation: I shall have ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 12:39-48
39 You may be quite sure of this, that if the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 22nd, 2014 Image

St. Pope John Paul II
October 22: Karol J. Wojtyla, known as John Paul II since his October 1978 ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter