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Biblical Archaeology Review 1:1, March 1975

Nelson Glueck and King Solomon—A Romance That Ended

Biblical Archaeology Review, March 1975

In 1935, Nelson Glueck of Hebrew Union College conducted a survey of the Negev which astounded a generation of Bible students at what could be learned from surface finds alone. Among these finds in the Aravah rift (also found a year earlier by a German scholar Fritz Frank) were a large number of copper slag heaps and, even more surprising, seven camps where the copper smelters, or perhaps the miners, must have lived. On the basis of some pottery sherds found nearby, Glueck attributed this copper mining operation to King Solomon, and concluded that here lay the source of much of his great wealth. According to Glueck, this mining operation also explained the protracted wars between Judah and Edom, apparently fought over control of the valuable mines.

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