The work reported here represents the large-scale excavations at the IA copper production site of Khirbat en-Nahas (KEN) (12) and is a part of a deep-time study of the impact of mining and metallurgy over the past 8 millennia in Jordan's Faynan district.Faynan is part of an IA polity known from the HB as Edom, located in the Saharo-Arabian desert zone in southern Transjordan. BCE, Edom extended westward across the Wadi Arabah, from Transjordan into the Negev Desert.1200–500 BCE) copper production center in the southern Levant demonstrate major smelting activities in the region of biblical Edom (southern Jordan) during the 10th and 9th centuries BCE.Stratified radiocarbon samples and artifacts were recorded with precise digital surveying tools linked to a geographic information system developed to control on-site spatial analyses of archaeological finds and model data with innovative visualization tools.A suite of 37 radiocarbon samples from our 2002 excavations was processed by accelerator laboratories in Oxford and Groningen and yielded early IA dates for the occupation of the site, between the end of the 12th c. 12:2–10), and Egyptian texts of the Levantine military campaign by Pharaoh Sheshonq (Shishak) I, who reigned 945–924 BCE (18).The campaign is mentioned in the HB and absolute dating evidence comes from Shishak's extensive triumphal topographical list related to his victories in Palestine at the temple of Amun at Karnak, Thebes (pls. The KEN excavations bring the early history of IA Edom into the realm of social interaction between 10th c. Although the GMM published 9 radiocarbon dates from the Heidelberg lab and we published 10 dates from Oxford and 27 dates from the Groningen labs, this sample was not substantial enough for some scholars (total of 46 dates) (12, 16) to accept the implications of this new dating framework for Edom.To help resolve these controversies, deeply stratified excavations to virgin soil were needed to date the full occupation span of KEN and measure the tempo and scale of metal production during the IA.Here, we report on the complete stratigraphic sequence at KEN from 2006 dated with a suite of 22 high-precision radiocarbon measurements and artifact data.
The methodologies applied to the historical IA archaeology of the Levant have implications for other parts of the world where sacred and historical texts interface with the material record.
The excavation was extended to the north, exposing a 4-room (with possibly a fifth room extending into the bulk) building (≈7.25 × 8.50 m). 2, this building was constructed on top of 3 m of debris layers also representing industrial-scale copper production.
The basal virgin sediment consists of sterile wadi sands.
Above this were 3 m of crushed slag and other copper industry debris layers also representing repeated episodes of smelting, furnace destruction, and related activities.
To establish a foundation for the 4-room building, the top of the early industrial debris mound was truncated and leveled to form a surface for construction.