November 29, 2014 (Source: http://www.livescience.com)
NFTU: Aside from the remarks about Solomon (whose historicity secular archaeologists such as Dever and Lemaire consider ‘trustworthy’) and the issue of the use of camels in the Patriarchal Period, the account shows more work is continuing on Biblical sites.
Originally reported on November 25
Metalworkers who did skilled labor at biblical-era copper mines in modern-day Israel were rewarded for their efforts with well-rounded meals, new research suggests.
The metalworkers’ diet included good cuts of sheep and goat, as well as pistachios, grapes and fish brought to the middle of the desert from the Mediterranean, according to an analysis of ancient leftovers at “Slaves’ Hill,” a mining camp in Israel’s Timna Valley.
The findings imply that “Slaves’ Hill” might be a misnomer; the people who manned the furnaces probably weren’t slaves, but rather, they held a higher status because of their craft, archaeologists say.
Not-exactly ‘Slaves’ Hill’
“Somebody took care that these people were eating well,” said Erez Ben-Yosef, an archaeologist from Tel Aviv University.
Since 2012, Ben-Yosef has been leading an archaeological expedition in the heart of Timna Valley, the second biggest source of copper in the southern Levant region. (The biggest is Faynan, farther north in Jordan.) People have taken advantage of the copper deposits at Timna for millennia. There are dozens of smelting sites and thousands of primitive mining pits clearly visible in the region today. And the area is still used for copper production; the Mexican mining giant AHMSA has a stake in the region.