According to researchers, Timna was a production centre for copper, the Iron Age equivalent of modern-day oil.
Copper smelting required advanced expert understanding that was a guarded secret and those who held this knowledge were considered the hi-tech experts of the time.
Slaves’ Hill is the largest copper-smelting site in the valley and it is filled with piles of industrial waste such as slag from the smelting furnaces.
One of these heaps yielded three scraps of coloured cloth, which immediately attracted the attention of researchers who found it hard to believe they had found true purple from such an ancient period.
Prof Ben-Yosef added, “Archaeologists are looking for King David’s palace. However, David may not have expressed his wealth in splendid buildings, but with objects more suited to a nomadic heritage such as textiles and artefacts.”
(Press Association. Picture Courtesy: Dafna Gazit, Israel Antiquities Authority)