Site for children

P About H E M The H To And

What is king Solomon's mines?


Mine is the old name of mine or mine; that is, the construction of underground or surface mining of minerals, for example, coal, salt, metals. "Kopi" is the plural of the word "mine", derived from "digging", which literally means "the place where digging" (ore).

Gustave Dore. King Solomon (the picture with engraving)

The Jewish king Solomon, the legendary great biblical ruler of the X century BC, the son of king David, who inherited him the throne. The Bible tells us that in return for faithful service God offered Solomon a choice of one of three gifts: wisdom, power and wealth. Solomon chose wisdom, and through it gained power and wealth. He revealed many secrets of the world, and even spirits, animals and birds serve him. Solomon is credited with the authorship of several books of the Bible - the "song of Songs", "Book of Ecclesiastes", "Book of Proverbs". Solomon is also known that when it was built the temple of Jerusalem - the main Shrine of the Jews (it was destroyed in the sixth century BC by Nebuchadnezzar II; currently, this place is the Muslim Holy qubbat as-Sahra - the dome of the Rock).

That's what the Bible tells about the wealth of Solomon.

"And Solomon had forty thousand stalls of horses for his chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen " (3 kings. 4:26).

" And Solomon had built... all the cities of store... and the cities for his chariots, and cities for his horsemen " (3 kings. 9:17, 19).

"And all the drinking vessels in king Solomon were of gold... silver was nothing; because the silver in the days of Solomon was considered for nothing..." (3 kings. 10:21,22).

"The temple that king Solomon built for the Lord... he overlaid with gold " (3 kings. 6:2,22).

"The third Book of kings" tells us that "in gold that came to Solomon in one year, the weight was six hundred threescore and six talents of gold" (about 22825 kg).

Thus, if we are to believe the Bible, king Solomon was fabulously rich and powerful.

You may be disappointed, but a large part of the treasure of Solomon, according to the lists given in kings and Chronicles, and even the ornaments of the Temple was made not of gold, and... of copper or bronze. And mythical mines Solomon source of wealth is not gold. And especially they are not diamond, as written in the adventure novel king Solomon's Mines" , P. haggard, and which attracted the attention of the public. These mines copper. However, the mystery of not less interesting, as the location of the mine, which was mined copper for king Solomon, is still shrouded in mystery. The Bible calls two places, of which Solomon had were brought untold wealth, Ophir and Tarshish. So, in the Third Book of kings says: "...and they went to Ophir, and fetched from thence gold, four hundred and twenty talents, and brought it to king Solomon". However, the Bible does not give hints where was the Ophir. There is not a direct linguistic Parallels, which could serve as a hint, so called variety: Spain, southern Africa (modern Zimbabwe), Arabian Peninsula (modern Saudi Arabia), India and even... America.

No more information about the location of Tarshish. From "the Third Book of kings", that Solomon had sent expeditions in cooperation with the Phoenicians from the port of Ezion-Geber on the Red sea. It also indicates that Solomon was the sea "...Tarshish ship with ship hramovym; every three years once came the Tarshish ship, which brought gold and silver, and ivory, and apes, and peacocks". The Jewish historian Josephus in the first century A.D. identified Tarshish with the name of the famous port-Roman times Tarsis. However, because Solomon was definitely associated with the leading Maritime trade of the Phoenicians, another theory defines Tarshish as the Hostal Castillo is an ancient Kingdom that was located near Cadiz on the territory of modern Spain; it is described by the ancient Greeks as a mine of silver. It is known that the Phoenicians traded with Spain, and then colonized it, so the Hostal Castillo could be one of the sources of minerals, imported to Solomon.

However, none of these theories is not fully acceptable. Tarsis, of course, could serve as one of the items sent ores mined on the Black sea coast, as well as the Hostal Castillo could put the silver. But how to be with apes, ivory, peacocks and blacks? Neither Spain nor the Tarsis could not be possible sources of all this stuff. Also, why the ships of Solomon had three years to make the voyage to one of these places and back? Thus, the meaning of the word "Tarshish" is not clear, and if it is the name of the place, it is likely that it was much further and, perhaps, it was about a few places, not one.

For many centuries people have been dreaming to find a country Ophir. Many travelers and explorers tried to find king Solomon's mines.

Kenneth Twitchell, American scientist, have long studied the legends of the Arab nomads. He came to the conclusion that king Solomon's mines is not that other, as the mines, which are located in Saudi Arabia. In 1932, he went to the foot of the mountain Mand-ed-Dahab (Arabic for "the cradle of gold"), and there began his research. After a long search he found in the vicinity of the millstone for grinding ore. The results of the analysis showed that a millstone were more than two thousand years, and on its surface are preserved gold particles.

Twitchell decided that, at that level of technology that was king Solomon, the miners could not be extracted from the bowels of the precious ore fully, and therefore, under the land had to remain still significant reserves of gold. From 1937 to 1951 under the leadership of Twitchell of these mines was extracted sixty tons of gold.

Later scientists geologists have proved that the mines in the mountains of Mand-ed-Dahab in the past has given to the world about half of all mined gold.

But none of the scientists could not prove that these mines is the legendary mines of king Solomon.

A unified Kingdom under Solomon
A unified Kingdom under Solomon
Ezion-Geber is marked by an arrow (see below map)

In the thirties of XX century, American archaeologist Nelson Glueck decided to find a confirmation of one of the Bible verses: "and King Solomon made a Navy of ships in Eziongeber, which is beside Eloth, on the shore of the red sea, in the land of Edom" (3 kings. 9, 26). It was on this ship was made a voyage to the country of Ophir. Elath, lying on the red (red) sea, immediately reminiscent of the Israeli port city of Eilat. Apparently, somewhere nearby there was and Ezion-Geber, the shipyard of king Solomon. In the vicinity of Eilat lies the port city of Aqaba.

Glitch went to the Negev desert in Israel, because the land of Edom was called the area South of the Dead sea, conquered by king David. He began excavations on the hill of tell Chelate located between the modern cities of Aqaba (Jordan) and Eilat (Israel). The archaeologist had hoped to find the remains of an ancient shipyard, ship equipment or shipwreck. However, to his surprise, discovered copper tools, molds, slag ore and, finally, a huge melting furnace. Obviously, there is smelted copper metal, about which little is said in the Bible. It also says nothing about that in the city of Ezion-Geber, smelted copper. So Nelson Glueck opened not what you were hoping to find.

Excavations continued, and soon out of the ground seemed massive gate. They were part of the city fortifications. Apparently, N. Gluck and his colleagues unearthed "in the land of Edom" ancient city, "lying beside Eloth (Eilat)". Excavations showed that he was surrounded by a strong defensive wall thickness up to 2.5-3, and in some places and up to 4 meters. Perhaps as a mighty fortress, Dating from the X century BC, was built to guard the goods delivered by merchant ships from countries rich in gold, silver, ivory.

Admiration Gluck these precious finds were reflected in his official report, which contains all the results of the studies in the Gulf of Aqaba: "Ezion-Geber, arose as the result of careful planning and was an exemplary construction of the architecture and technical skills. Virtually all of Ezion-Geber, given its location and the time of construction, was phenomenal industrial city that has no equal in the entire history of the ancient East. Ezion-Geber is the Pittsburgh ancient Palestine and at the same time is the most important sea port" (American Glitch compares Ezion-Geber, with Pittsburgh in the mid-twentieth century, Pittsburgh was one of the centers of American metallurgy).

The results of the excavations was a sensation. The Phoenicians not only indulged in swimming with them, going to Arabia, East Africa or India, but also built with them "joint venture" - for example, one of the largest smelters of the Ancient East. There certainly without them there were, after all, the Israelis themselves without the help of the Phoenicians were not able at that time to cope with the solution of such a technically challenging task.

Melting furnaces found throughout the Timna valley, in the center of the hot sun valley, on the way sandstorms. But why it was impossible to build somewhere in the shadows and closer to the water? Explanation only added riddles. The fact that the ancient miners used the wind as a compressor. Chimneys were facing holes to the North, where winds are constant on-shore winds. This ingenious method was able without any difficulty to maintain the desired melting temperature. And they furnaces were built on the system of Bessemer, which was mastered only in the last century. But how was purified copper in ancient device? Modern experts can't solve this mystery.

King Solomon's mines. Frame from the film
Frame from the film "king Solomon's Mines" (1950)

With a light hand Nelson Gluck called "king Solomon's Mines" were used in relation to the ancient copper mines of Timna valley, especially since all the other copper mines mentioned in the literature under this name, was fictitious. But linking these mines with Solomon in the eighties of the last century was considered incorrect. According to recent studies, during the tenth century BCE, that is, during the reign of Solomon, then copper was not mined. However, copper mining began in Timna another 6 thousand years ago. It is possible that this is the first place on Earth where people began to mine the copper. Here was one of the oldest copper mines in the world, which for many centuries was ruled by the Egyptians. They not only enjoyed smelted there's a copper, but was actively sell it. The Egyptians had built in Timna sanctuary of the goddess Hathor, the patron Saint of mining. In ruins, archaeologists found a statue of the Egyptian goddess, sacrificial vessels, inscriptions and drawings. It is in Timna was cast first in the history of the ingot.

So, the question about the location of the mines of king Solomon remains open. For final conclusions of scientists are still not enough data, so excavations and studies are continuing.


Please rate the answer:
1 2 3 4 5

Total votes: 5

Your comments:

Your name (nick):
Enter the result of the calculation


  © 2014 All children