IsraelMiddle East

Israel Day 4 – We saw another first at Timna Valley

By November 27, 2019 No Comments

[Mom – September 11, 2019 – Yesterday’s adventure was to Timna Park in Israel (30 minutes north of Elilat on the Red Sea). Timna Park is the oldest known copper mine and was started by the Egyptians. As far as they know this is also the first place they turned copper into bronze. It was a beautiful canyon with ancient copper mines. Bill is absent from the pictures because he stayed at the motel to rest from the trip over. He is conserving his energy for when we go to the Holy Land and walk where Jesus walked. Today we crossed over into Jordan and are headed Wadi Rum where we will spend the night in a tent.]

3000+ year old rock art at Timna Park

As I continue to tell you about the trip I took showing my parents Israel and Jordan in September, you will find today’s entry about Timna Valley just north of Eilat in the southern part of Israel.

Old smelting workshop where they got the copper out of the rocks

Timna Valley is a fascinating place that we ended up spending over four hours at. There are ample hiking opportunities through out the rocky, mountainous, desert valley, but it was the history that really intrigued me and it all started with a briefing from Ron, the awesome park ranger we met.

It turns out this valley was rich in copper ore and is the first place copper was mined in the world 7000 years ago. These mines helped bring the area out of the Stone Age and into the Bronze Age. As you drive around the park you will find various sites that have hieroglyphics by many different civilizations including the ancient Egyptians. There is also a temple to the Egyptian god, Hathor. On top of this there are natural rock formations including arches, mushroom rocks, and Solomon’s Pillars.

Everything above was amazing to see, but for me it was the many mines around the area (around 10,000) and the fact that I could go into some of them that I really loved. Many of the mines were vertical shafts with footholds carved into the sides and most have been naturally filled in over the 7000 year history. With that said there are still some that you can climb down 10-20 feet, but they don’t go anywhere due to the filled in sand. There is one that is horizontal and you are allowed to crawl inside it. How cool is it that you can be in a mine that ancient Egyptians, Edomites, Israelites, and other civilizations used? It will be an experience I will remember for a long time.

After visiting Timna Valley we drove back to Eilat and I returned the rental car and took a walk along the North Beach, before returning to the hotel. We have a big day tomorrow as we cross the border into Jordan!!!!!

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