Did the Massive Copper Mines of Edom Empower the Kingdom of David and Solomon?


The size of the kingdom of David and Solomon during the 10th century b.c.e. is the hottest subject of debate among biblical archaeologists. Most of the time, archaeologists look at the size of architectural remains to determine the monumentality of the kingdom. But not Prof. Erez Ben-Yosef, director of the Central Timna Valley Project. The Timna Valley is the location of the largest copper mining and smelting site in the Levant during this period. Here, the evidence of the copper industry is immense, but the associated dwellings are almost nonexistent.

On today’s podcast, host Brent Nagtegaal talks to Professor Ben-Yosef about how the copper production site in Timna—as well as the wider Aravah Valley area—could have contributed to the power and wealth of the kingdom of David and Solomon, as well as the Edomites.