Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Return to King Solomon's mines

Thomas Levy, an anthropologist from the University of California at San Diego, gazes upward from an ancient copper-smelting site that may correspond with the fabled mines of King Solomon. Levy says the environment is so miserable that the workers would have to be "either slaves — or undergrads."

Alan Boyle writes:Did King David and Solomon actually exist? The long-running debate over the accuracy of biblical accounts is resurfacing on TV and in print.

David is one of the best-known figures in Jewish scriptures -- thanks to his stone-slinging victory over the giant Goliath, his divine selection as king of the Israelites, his purported authorship of the Book of Psalms, and of course his linkage to Christian and Muslim tradition. His son, Solomon, was described as the builder of the first Jewish Temple, famed for his wisdom and wealth but also for his failings.

The biblical stories raise a huge question for archaeologists: If these guys were so famous, why did they leave virtually no trace on the region's historical record? Some experts suggested that the real-life David and Solomon were, at best, minor figures in the ancient Middle East whose reputations grew in the centuries that followed. According to these experts, the Jerusalem of the 10th century B.C. was little more than a hill-country village, and nothing like the glittering city described in the Books of Chronicles.

via Cosmic Log - Return to King Solomon's mines.

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