Recent Discoveries Present New Evidence for the Biblical Account of the Origins of Ancient Israel

February 24, 2021 | Erez Ben-Yosef
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In the 1930s, when archaeologists first uncovered a copper-mining complex in the Timna Valley near Israel’s southeastern tip, they dubbed it “King Solomon’s mines,” but for several decades the consensus has been that this complex belonged to the Egyptians. Erez Ben-Yosef and his colleagues suddenly upended this view when they identified organic material—including fabrics dyed with the purple pigment mentioned in Bible—that made carbon-dating of the site possible. From this evidence they have concluded that the mines likely were used around the time of Kings David and Solomon, and have thus found tantalizing clues that support the biblical narrative of strong Israelite kingdom at the dawn of the first millennium BCE. (Interview by Rossella Tercatin. Video, 23 minutes. A transcript is available at the link below.)

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