Biblical accounts speak of the great wealth of Old Testament kings, but physical evidence has been inconclusive. By instituting a program of high-precision, radiocarbon dating, Thomas Levy has revolutionized the dating of Biblical Edom - pushing the sequence some 500 years earlier than the scholarly consensus – and brought us closer than ever before to testing for the potential existence of “King Solomon’s Mines”.
For over 30 years, Levy has been exploring the deserts of southern Israel and Jordan trying to understand the role of ancient mining and metallurgy on the evolution of societies in the Middle East. Levy, his colleague Mohammad Najjar, and students have discovered hundreds of Iron Age sites in the Faynan region and carried our excavations at seven related to communities who carried out metal production. These groundbreaking expeditions repudiate earlier scholarly views that there were no complex societies in the southern Levant during the 10th c. BC when the Old Testament mentions the kingdoms of David, Solomon and the Edomites.
Thomas Levy is Distinguished Professor and holds the Norma Kershaw Chair in the Archaeology of Ancient Israel and Neighboring Lands at the University of California, San Diego. He is also an Associate Director of the Center of Interdisciplinary Science for All, Architecture and Archaeology (CISA3) at the California Center of Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2). He has been the principal investigator of many interdisciplinary archaeological field projects funded by the National Geographic Society, the National Endowment for the Humanities, National Science Foundation, and other organizations.