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The excavation was extended to the north, exposing a 4-room (with possibly a fifth room extending into the bulk) building (≈7.25 × 8.50 m). 2, this building was constructed on top of 3 m of debris layers also representing industrial-scale copper production.The basal virgin sediment consists of sterile wadi sands.(1), asserting that he had discovered King Solomon's mines in the Faynan district (the northern part of biblical Edom), ≈50 km south of the Dead Sea in what is now southern Jordan.The period between the First and Second World Wars has been called the “Golden Age” of biblical archaeology (2) when this subfield was characterized by an almost literal interpretation of the Old Testament (Hebrew Bible, HB) as historical fact.The work reported here represents the large-scale excavations at the IA copper production site of Khirbat en-Nahas (KEN) (12) and is a part of a deep-time study of the impact of mining and metallurgy over the past 8 millennia in Jordan's Faynan district.Faynan is part of an IA polity known from the HB as Edom, located in the Saharo-Arabian desert zone in southern Transjordan. BCE, Edom extended westward across the Wadi Arabah, from Transjordan into the Negev Desert.
Data from Khirbat en-Nahas, and the nearby site of Rujm Hamra Ifdan, demonstrate the centrality of industrial-scale metal production during those centuries traditionally linked closely to political events in Edom's 10th century BCE neighbor ancient Israel.To help resolve these controversies, deeply stratified excavations to virgin soil were needed to date the full occupation span of KEN and measure the tempo and scale of metal production during the IA.