A new chronological framework for Iron Age copper production at Timna (Israel)

Erez Ben-Yosef*, Ron Shaar, Lisa Tauxe, Hagai Ron

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

79 Scopus citations


This paper presents the results of the 2009 excavations at Site 30 in the Timna Valley, Israel. The results, coupled with a suite of 11 new radiocarbon dates, fix the chronology of the site between the 11th and 9th centuries B.C.E. and challenge the previous chronological framework of the copper production activities in the southern Arabah Valley. The paper also presents a striking correlation between Site 30 and the recently reported archaeological record of Iron Age Faynan, indicating technological and social unity between the two regions. In light of the new results and reexamination of previously published materials, we suggest that the peak in copper production in the southern Arabah occurred after the Egyptians had left their small outpost at Timna; this activity was an offshoot of the more elaborate enterprise at Faynan. The well-organized Iron Age copper production in the Arabah Valley was based on local initiatives and conducted by local seminomadic tribes, probably belonging to the Edomite polity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-71
Number of pages41
JournalBulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research
StatePublished - Aug 2012


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