This paper presents results of an archaeomagnetic study of slag from four Early Bronze (EB) Age copper production sites in the Faynan Copper Ore District and the northern Arabah Valley (modern Israel and Jordan). The results provide age constraints for metallurgical activities at these sites. Together with previously published data, they indicate copper production around ca. 2900 cal. BCE (EB II-III transition) and between ca. 2600-1950 cal. BCE, spanning the later part of the EB III and the entire EB IV period. These data strongly suggest a direct link between Faynan and the Old Kingdom of Egypt, which is reflected in the most significant phase of copper production and trade in the northern Arabah prior to the Iron Age, and in a settlement wave in the Negev Highlands. In addition, the results indicate that during the late EB II copper was smelted up to 40 km away from the mines. This is evident at the unique cultic site of Ashalim, located on the main road between Faynan, southeast of the Dead Sea, and the settled areas in the core of Canaan.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We would like to thank the Israel Antiquities Authority and the Departments of Antiquity of Jordan, ACOR, the ELRAP staff and student volunteers, Jason Steindorf for the magnetic laboratory measurements, and Adolfo Muniz for his work in the field. We also thank Uzi Avner for sharing his knowledge about the Ashalim site. We would also like to thank the Israel Mapping Center for providing corrections for our differential GPS. This research was partially supported by NSF grants #: EAR1345003 and EAR1141840 , BSF grant # 2012359 , and Marie Curie FP7-PEOPLE-2012-CIG grant # 334274 . Funding for the KHI excavations was awarded to TEL by the C. Paul Johnson Family Charitable Foundation and the National Geographic Society grant No. 6856-00 .
© 2016 Elsevier Ltd.
- Bronze Age
- Old Kingdom