NOVA special on King Solomon’s Mines highlights Khirbet Qeiyafa Ostracon

Quest for Solomon's Mines NOVA

"Quest for Solomon's Mines" aired on NOVA.

The “Quest for Solomon’s Mines” aired on PBS November 23, 2010. It is viewable online. While the NOVA special examined the quest for King Solomon’s Mines, it actually did a good job of raising the issues surrounding the historicity (the actual existence and historical accuracy of the biblical account) of King Solomon. Among the items examined are the copper smelting mines located in Khirbat en-Nahas, the fortifications in Khirbat Qeiyafa, and the Qeiyafa Ostracon, which contains an inscription written in a proto-Canaanite alphabet.

UCLA's Dr. William Schniedewind with a replica of the Khirbat Qeyiafa Ostracon

UCLA's Dr. William Schniedewind with a replica of the Khirbat Qeiyafa Ostracon

The program highlights two of my favorite UC scholars, Dr. Thomas Levy of UC San Diego, and Dr. Bill Schniedewind of UCLA. Dr. Levy served as the show’s principal investigator, and Dr. Schniedewind discussed the importance of the Qeiyafa Ostracon. Drs. Israel Finkelstein and Eric Cline also make appearances, speaking to the relevance of the finds to the ongoing debate about the very existence of Solomon.

You can read an accompanying KPBS article here.

3 Responses

  1. Bob,
    Just a minor correction. The Qeiyafa (Elah Fortress) Ostracon is apparently NOT an abecedary inscription (at least none of the principle epigraphers have made that claim, including Hagai Misgav, Ada Yardeni, Aharon Demsky, Shmuel Ahitov and others). I was actually sent the treatment by NatGeo for the documentary and was a little surprised by the attempt to prove Solomon’s mines – or the historicity of the biblical 10th century by connecting the story to Qeiyafa. I’m personally supportive of those who’ve posited a date earlier than David (even if one accepts the biblical narrative the site would predate David) – which may have far more importance and impact.
    David Willner
    Foundation Stone

  2. agreed. there’s more to it than the abc text. just not sure who has published what. translation here:
    and you are correct: qeiyafa doesn’t prove solomon. i liked the doc because of all the peripheral studies it did, not for anything to do with shlomo. -bc

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