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The Timna Valley is located in southern Israel in the southwestern Arabah, approximately 30 km (18.6 mi) north of the Gulf of Aqaba and the town of Eilat. The area is rich in copper ore, and has been actively mined by humans since the 6th millennium BCE.


Chalcolithic copper mine in Timna Valley, southern Israel.

The existence of the remains of copper production at Timna was known from surveys conducted at the end of nineteenth century, but scientific attention and public interest was aroused when in the 1930s Nelson Glueck attributed the copper mining at Timna to King Solomon (10th century BCE) and named the site "King Solomon's Mines". Later research has shown that the site was not in use during the 10th century.[1]

Archeological evidence reveals that copper mining began as early as the Late Neolithic period, and continued more or less uninterrupted well into the Middle Ages. Mining activities in the Timna Valley reached a peak during the reign of the Pharaohs of the 18th and 19th Egyptian dynasties, spanning the 14th-12th centuries BCE, when Egyptian mining expeditions, in collaboration with Midianites and local Amalekites, turned the Timna Valley into a large-scale copper industry.

See also

  • Timna Valley Park

Coordinates: 29°47′16″N 34°59′20″E / 29.78778°N 34.98889°E / 29.78778; 34.98889


  1. Parr, Peter J review of "Timma: Valley of the Biblical Copper Mines" by Beno Rothenberg Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, Vol. 37, No. 1, In Memory of W. H. Whiteley (1974), pp. 223-224

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