King Solomon’s Mines

In article published today in Haaretz (Wednesday in Israel) says that the copper mines at Timna reached their prime during the reign of King Solomon.

Below is an excerpt from the article:

It took 10 date pits and one olive pit to come to the conclusion that the heyday of the copper mines at Timna, near Eilat, was indeed during the reign of King Solomon, in the 10th century B.C.E.

The samples, which were dug up by a Tel Aviv University team headed by archaeologist Erez Ben Yosef, were sent to Oxford for a carbon-14 dating test. The results proved that the site wasn’t populated during the 13th century B.C.E., as previously thought, and that its peak of activity was actually some three centuries later.

In recent decades scientific consensus has been that the mines were operated by the Egyptian Empire that ruled the area in the 13th century B.C.E. This notion was the result of excavations carried out at Timna by the pioneering Israeli archaeologist Beno Rothenberg, who discovered in 1969 a small and beautifully preserved Egyptian temple. Until then, it had been universally accepted that King Solomon operated the mines. The current mission turned the tables again and set the operation date of the mines back to the era of King Solomon – but the king’s degree of involvement is yet undetermined. Ben Yosef says that he could not dismiss the possibility that the Edomite kingdom was subjugated, to some extent, to the Judean Kingdom, through a representative sent from Jerusalem, as stated in the second Book of Samuel.

Read the article in its entirety by visiting Haaretz online.

Claude Mariottini
Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary


This entry was posted in Archaeology and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to King Solomon’s Mines

  1. Mike Wilson says:

    I have Rothenberg’s book on the site and the 13th century date seems pretty solid based on inscriptions and the Egyptian sculpture and objects found, plus pottery found at the site. I’ll have to see a fuller discussion of this new research to change my mind on Rothenberg’s conclusions.


    • Claude Mariottini says:


      Thank you for your comment. I have not read Rothenberg’s book. That is the reason I only posted the information without a personal reaction to the article. I guess I need the review the data before I make a decision on this issue.

      Thank you for calling my attention to this information.

      Claude Mariottini


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.