Archaeologists from Tel Aviv University revealed on Wednesday, February 24, that they discovered a large collection of fabrics and intact seeds native to Israel dating back to the times when Kings David and Solomon reigned in ancient Israel. They were discovered in ancient copper mines of Timna that are believed to be King Solomon’s mines. Being shut up in the caverns helped them remain in good condition.
The find helps them understand the culture of the ancient Edomites who worked in the mines after being conquered by the Israelites in battle. The mines are located between the Dead Sea and the city of Eilat in southern Israel.
Dr. Erez Ben-Yosef, leader of the excavation, said, “We found fragments of textiles that originated from bags, clothing, tents, ropes and cords.” Ancient leathers were also among the materials. He went on to say that,”We found simply woven, elaborately decorated fabrics worn by the upper echelon of their stratified society. Luxury- grade fabric adorned the highly skilled, highly respected craftsmen managing the copper furnaces.”
The seeds discovered were for two grains and five fruits believed to be among seven species that were native to ancient Israel. Concerning the seeds, Dr. Ben-Yosef noted, “We can reconstruct wine typical of King David’s era, for example, and understand the cultivation and domestication processes that have been preserved in the DNA of the seeds.”
To find out more about this rich cultural find which confirms the rich culture of ancient Israel mentioned in the Old Testament, read the article “Archaeologists discover unprecedented fabric collection dating to Kings David, Solomon” by Daniel K. Eisenbud at the Jerusalem Post website.