Tuesday, June 7, 2011

King Solomon's Mines? Evidence Supports Early Dating


A team of archaeologists and others will return to a site southeast of the Dead Sea in late September, 2011 to continue investigations of what is now considered to be one of the largest copper mines of the ancient Middle East. Among other things, scientists hope to be able to identify the ethnicity or nationality of the people who actually controlled the mining and smelting operation during the 10th century B.C.E., the time period when, based on the Biblical accounts, scholars have traditionally dated the kingdom of Edom, as well as that of David and Solomon of ancient Israel...

Radiocarbon-dated finds in 2002 supported an early Iron Age occupation of the site from the end of the 12th century B.C. to the end of the 9th century B.C. The site contained over 100 buildings already visible from the surface, a large desert fortress, and large, extensive mounds of slag, waste products of copper smelting. In 2006, deeply stratified excavations at the site using high-precision radiocarbon dating, Bayesian analysis and advanced digital recording and mapping technologies turned up results that further supported the initial interpretations from 2002.

The recovery of predominantly Edomite local ceramic ware dated to the time period evidenced a substantial or predominant Edomite presence, and the discovery there of Egyptian artifacts known to have been produced during the time of Pharaohs Siamun and Shishak suggested some connection or interaction with ancient Egypt of the 10th and 9th centuries. In short, convincing evidence now supported the suggestion that a massive copper production facility had been operating at KEN during the 10th and 9th centuries B.C., a time period that up until now had been assumed by many scholars, in particular the minimalists, to predate by at least two centuries the emergence of the fully-developed kingdoms of ancient Edom and Israel...

Complete article

No comments: