Slagheaps reveal ancient Biblical kingdom of Edom was REAL

Slagheaps from ancient copper mines in southern Jordan and Israel reveal ancient Biblical kingdom of Edom was REAL, scientists claim

  • Scientists analysed the copper content of slagheaps from 11th century BC mines 
  • They say all the mines in a 60-mile wide region were under the same control 
  • This could only feasibly be the Kingdom of Edom due to their age and location
  • Some researchers dispute the findings and say the ancient people in the region were more likely to be nomads  

The Biblical kingdom of Edom was long thought to be a myth, but scientists now think they have found proof of its existence in a controversial new finding. 

Analysis of copper mines and slagheaps dating back to the 11th century BC reveals evidence of improvements to smelting in various mines throughout a 60-mile wide region. 

This simultaneous evolution, scientists say, is evidence of a central controlling authority, which they believe to be Edom. 

Other scientists believe this to be a leap to far and say the findings to not disprove the previous theory that the people of southern Jordan and Israel were nomads. 

Scroll down for video 

Analysis of copper mines and slagheaps (pictured) dating back to the 11th century BC reveals evidence of improvements to smelting in various mines throughout a 60-mile wide region

THE HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF EDOM  

According to history, Saul, the biblical first king of Israel, reigned at the end of the 11th century BC. 

Later, in the 10th century, the kingdom was attacked by Egypt following the death of King Solomon. 

This has been ratified by both the Bible and the Egyptian records, inscribed in hieroglyphics.   

The book of Genesis refers to the Edomites, who were thought to be descendants of Jacob’s brother Esau, as ‘the kings who reigned in Edom before any Israelite king reigned’.

Later, the Biblical narrative holds that King David of Israel defeated the Edomites, and supposedly killed every male in the Kingdom.

The word ‘Edom’ means red in Hebrew, and by tradition Esau had red hair.

However, the meaning has further meaning as Edomites lived in a land still famous for its red landscapes.

The most famous ancient site in what was Edom, though it dates from centuries later, is Petra, the ‘rose-red’ city of antiquity. 

Scientists and archaeologists analysed slagheaps left by the copper mines in what is now southern Jordan and Israel. 

Researchers from the University of California and tel Aviv University concluded that due to its age and location, it could only be Edom, the kingdom which stood in the way of the expanding Israelites. 

The book of Genesis refers to the Edomites, who were thought to be descendants of Jacob’s brother Esau, as ‘the kings who reigned in Edom before any Israelite king reigned’.

The holy book then also goes on to mention that King David of Israel defeated the Edomites, and supposedly killed every male in the Kingdom.  

This period of ancient history, which pre-dates the Greeks, saw Eastern Europe become a tumultuous warzone divided by politics and war. 

The exact cause is often hotly disputed and, as a result, biblical archaeology can be a contentious topic. 

Central to the latest research, published last week in the journal Plos One, is the belief that the amount of copper left in the ancient slag-heaps can show how efficient the smelters were.

This, according to the researchers, suggests the civilisation was building on technology from the Egyptian empire.

A simultaneous appearance of the gradual improvements to the methods, even 60 miles apart in the mines at Timna and Faynan.

‘The local tribes of the region were organising themselves under one political body in order to exploit, in the best way they could, the copper minerals,’ Erez Ben-Yosef, an archaeologist at Tel Aviv University and the head of the Central Timna Valley Project told LiveScience.  

The sites were also fortified with armaments, which indicates a new enemy, the paper posits. 

However, not all in the field are convinced by the findings or the bold claims that an ancient Edom kingdom has been found. 

King Saul of Israel (centre) gives his daughter Michal’s hand in marriage to David. David, according to the Hebrew Bible, was the second king of the united Kingdom of Israel and Judah, reigning around 1010BC .  The Biblical narrative holds that King David of Israel defeated the Edomites, and supposedly killed every male in the Kingdom

Israel Finkelstein, a Tel Aviv University professor of archaeology, who was not involved in the research, interprets the findings differently. 

He poses the possibility of the ancient residents of the region, now being called Edom, were nomads and didn’t formally conglomerate to become a cohesive region until much later, around 800 BC. 

‘Can desert nomads, even a territorial formation of desert nomads, with no urban centres, be described as a ‘kingdom’?’ he said.

Professor Tom Levy of the University of California at San Diego, a lead archaeologist in the research, said his project had no bias or political or religious leaning. 

He told The Times that his findings were born out of ‘cyber-archaeology’., an emerging field which combines computer science, engineering and natural sciences with archaeology.  

‘The data has taken us to a place where the archaeological record does indeed coincide with many aspects of the Hebrew Bible and biblical Edom,’ he told the newspaper. 

‘This was a surprise to us.’

Source: Read Full Article