At the site of a place commonly referred to as Solomon’s Mine, archaeologists have made a discovery that dates back approximately 3,200 years.
The location known as Solomon’s Mine is located in the Timna Valley in Israel. Ancient Egyptians used the mine to get copper. It is believed that at one point, ancient Israel’s wisest and most wealthy king, Solomon, had controlled these mines. Some scholars debate that claim, though.
Nonetheless, the mine remains, and archaeologists have been exploring the site for historical insight. They recently found something rather interesting at the site: the remains of a pregnant woman. According to Fox News, the remains were found at a temple dedicated to the Egyptian goddess Hathor.
Archaeologists discovered the pregnant woman’s skeleton buried in a tumulus (a tomb covered by rocks) near Hathor’s temple. The people worshipped Hathor — the goddess of love, pleasure and maternity — at Timna, and considered her to be the protector of the miners […]
At the time the pregnant woman lived, Egypt controlled the mines at Timna, suggesting she was Egyptian. In addition, she may have been a singer at the Hathor temple, said Erez Ben-Yosef, the director of the Central Timna Valley Project and a senior lecturer in archaeology at Tel Aviv University. She was buried with beads whose design is similar to those found at the Hathor temple, Ben-Yosef told Live Science.
Archaeologists believe that the woman was likely in her 20s, and was in the first trimester of pregnancy. They do not know the cause of her death.
It’s possible that she was a worker in the temple of Hathor, as the Egyptians believed sacrifices needed to be made to Hathor to protect the miners.
Archaeologists also do not know if she was impregnated before or after she came to Timna from Egypt. Perhaps if she knew she was pregnant, she may not have taken the trip.
Shortly after the time in which this woman died, Egypt’s power in the region diminished. Other kingdoms came along and gradually took control of the mine from the Egyptians.
Other findings in Timna Valley include preserved leftovers from a mining camp called Slaves’ Hill. Those leftovers suggested the metalworkers ate meals of sheep and goat, as well as pistachios, grapes and fish during the 10th century B.C. More recently at Slaves’ Hill, scientists revealed the remains of a sophisticated gatehouse and donkey stables that suggested the settlement had a highly organized defense system. In another discovery, archaeologists reported in 2013 that they had dug up artifacts in the valley that dated to the time of the biblical King Solomon.
World history is full of constant taking and loss of land and resources. One kingdom would conquer another, control it for some time, and then lose it to another kingdom later when their power is on the decline.
I for one and glad that we live in the 21st century. We can talk all we want about the problems we have today, but it could be a lot worse, like being a pregnant woman working in a temple, then dying in a copper mine.