Israeli archeologists discover textiles from period of King David

Excavation in Arava Valley in southern Israel yield textiles dating back to period of King David and Solomon

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Archeologists in Israel discovered a fabric collection dating back to the era of King David and King Solomon.

The discovery was made in the Arava Valley in southern Israel during an excavation by Tel Aviv University in the ancient copper mines of Timna. According to the head of the excavation, Dr. Erez Ben-Yosef, the discovery is the first time textiles were discovered from this period, Ben-Yosef stating “The arid condition of the mines has seen the remarkable preservation of 3,000-year-old organic materials, including seeds, leather and fabric, and other extremely rare artifacts that provide a unique window into the culture and practices of this period.”

He stated that the discovery of “the textiles also offer insight into the complex society of the early Edomites, the semi-nomadic people believed to have operated the mines at Timna,” adding that “No textiles have ever been found at excavation sites like Jerusalem, Megiddo and Hazor, so this provides a unique window into an entire aspect of life from which we’ve never had physical evidence before. We found fragments of textiles that originated from bags, clothing, tents, ropes and cords…. The wide variety of fabrics also provides new and important information about the Edomites, who, according to the Bible, warred with the Kingdom of Israel. We found simply woven, elaborately decorated fabrics worn by the upper echelon of their stratified society. Luxury grade fabric adorned the highly skilled, highly respected craftsmen managing the copper furnaces. They were responsible for smelting the copper, which was a very complicated process.”

Just last week, Israel’s Antiquity Authority found remains of ancient settlement in Jerusalem from the Chalcolithic period. The discovery was made during an excavation ahead of construction of a road to the neighborhood of Shuafat in northern Jerusalem. According to the Authority, the settlement is from the Chalcolithic period, approximately 7,000 years old.

Both discoveries are significant in providing a deeper understanding the economy of both periods and communities.