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Discovery of 3,000-Year-Old Donkey Dung Validates Biblical Account of King Solomon

  • Veronica Neffinger

    Veronica Neffinger wrote her first poem at age seven and went on to study English in college, focusing on 18th century literature. When she is not listening to baseball games, enjoying the…

  • Updated Apr 04, 2017

A new archaeological discovery has validated the Bible’s account of King Solomon’s riches and wealth.

Although ancient donkey dung may be the least thing we may expect to hold historical secrets, that is exactly what archaeologists have been analyzing to learn more about the time period of the biblical kings David and Solomon.

An article in National Geographic reveals that the ancient manure was preserved by the arid climate of Israel’s Timna Valley.

Archaeologists discovered the 3,000-year-old dung in an ancient mining camp, in an area filled with copper mines where ore used to be heated to turn into metal. This backs the biblical account referencing King Solomon’s vast wealth, much of which likely came from these mines.

“We thought maybe some nomads had camped there with their goats a few decades ago,” said archaeologist Erez Ben-Yosef said. “But the [radiocarbon] dates came back from the lab, and they confirmed we were talking about donkeys and other livestock from the 10th century B.C. It was hard to believe.”

Another interesting thing archaeologists discovered was that the dung samples contained seeds and pollen spores that helped researchers determine the animals’ diet. This revealed that their feed had been imported from more than 100 miles away, near the Mediterranean coast.

“Until recently we had almost nothing from this period in this area,” Ben-Yosef said. “But now we not only know that this was a source of copper, but also that it’s from the days of King David and his son Solomon.”


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Publication date: April 4, 2017