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Updated July 25th 2019

The Jabal Hamrat Fidan Project: Excavations at the Wadi Fidan 40 Cemetery in Jordan (1997)
by Thomas E. Levy -- Russell B. Adams and Rula Shafiq in Levant (1997)


... Already well known is the evidence for Egyptian and 'Midianite' mining activities at Timna (Rothenberg 1988, 1990). To date these remain the best-documented evidence of a Late Bronze Age-Iron Age I occupation in the southern Arabah. However the evidence there is one of limited occupation and exploitation of natural resources by foreigners and not of localised and extensive permanent settlements. Although there is evidence for a lengthy exploitation of the copper resources at Timna during the reign of several pharaohs during the Nineteenth and Twentieth Dynasties, as evidenced by several cartouches of pharaohs from Seti I through Rameses IV, C. 1300-1150 Be (Rothenberg 1972), no extensive occupational evidence has yet been found to support other than short-lived mining encampments in the region. The exact composition of the population at Timna is also open to debate since three distinctive forms of pottery have been found in sites of the region, including Late Bronze Age-Iron Age wheel-made pottery, hand-made 'Negev' ware, and also distinctive hand-made, painted 'Midianite' pottery. It seems likely, as Bartlett has suggested earlier (1989, 74-75), that the population at Timna was most likely composed of Egyptians, local inhabitants and others - including prisoners and slaves - forced to work the mines for the benefit of the Egyptian occupiers.

The History of the Ancient Near East Electronic Compendium