A copper-smelting site and an ancient wall dating back to the 10th century BCE have been excavated at the Timna copper mines antiquities site in southern Israel’s Arava desert region, lending credence to the biblical story of the capture of Edom in the time of King David.
The well-fortified wall once ran for hundreds of meters and stood at least five meters (16.5 feet) tall. Many sling stones were discovered next to the edifice, which may be evidence of the great battle mentioned in Samuel 8:13.
The Edomites were a semi-nomadic tribal confederation which, according to the Bible, warred constantly with Israel.
“We have plenty of archaeological proof to determine that the miners who worked the Timna mines weren’t humble slaves, as had been assumed, but rather expert miners who oversaw the complex, demanding work by apprentices,” said Dr. Erez Ben-Yosef of Tel Aviv University, who headed the biblical archaeology team that uncovered the wall.
“Today we are discovering more and more evidence of a concentrated, hierarchical society that interacted extensively with its neighbors, which matches up with texts from the Bible and other sources,” he added.
Nearby mines were found to be from the time of King Solomon, King David’s son.
The Timna Valley, now a national park, was a copper-production district with thousands of mines and dozens of smelting sites. Fragments of furnaces, clothing, fabrics and rope were unearthed in the dig, as were a number of food remnants.
Archaeologists sent 11 olive and date pits found at the site to Oxford University, where they were dated to the 10th century BCE, the time during which, according to the Bible, King Solomon ruled ancient Israel.
Several other archaeological findings in Israel have lent credence to the Bible’s recounting of events, debunking schools of thought that dismissed the Bible as mere folklore.
Reported by: JNS.org and United with Israel Staff