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King Solomon's Copper Mines - Digital Archaeology Project

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Published on Nov 4, 2008

High-Precision Carbon Dating and Historical Biblical Archaeology in Southern Jordan

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 2008 Vol. 105 No. 43

San Diego, Oct. 27, 2008 -- Did the Bibles King David and his son Solomon control the copper industry in present-day southern Jordan ? Though that remains an open question, the possibility is raised once again by research reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Led by Thomas Levy of UC San Diego and Mohammad Najjar of Jordan's Friends of Archaeology, an international team of archaeologists has excavated an ancient copper-production center at Khirbat en-Nahas down to virgin soil, through more than 20 feet of industrial smelting debris, or slag. The 2006 dig has brought up new artifacts and with them a new suite of radiocarbon dates placing the bulk of industrial-scale production at Khirbat en-Nahas in the 10th century BCE - in line with biblical narrative on the legendary rule of David and Solomon. The new data pushes back the archaeological chronology some three centuries earlier than the current scholarly consensus.

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