Situated south of the Dead Sea, near the famous Nabatean capital of Petra, the Faynan region in Jordan contains the largest deposits of copper ore in the southern Levant. The Edom Lowlands Regional Archaeology Project (ELRAP) takes an anthropological-archaeology approach to the deep-time study of culture change in one of the Old World's most important locales for studying technological development. Using innovative digital tools for data recording, curation, analyses, and dissemination, the researchers focused on ancient mining and metallurgy as the subject of surveys and excavations related to the Iron Age (ca. 1200-500 BCE), when the first local, historical state-level societies appeared in this part of the eastern Mediterranean basin. This comprehensive and important volume challenges the current scholarly consensus concerning the emergence and historicity of the Iron Age polity of biblical Edom and some of its neighbors, such as ancient Israel. Excavations and radiometric dating establish a new chronology for Edom, adding almost 500 more years to the Iron Age, including key periods of biblical history when David, Solomon, and the Egyptian pharaoh Shoshenq I are alleged to have interacted with Edom. Included is a 7 gigabyte DVD with over 55,000 files of additional data and photographs from the project.
Thomas E. Levy is a distinguished professor in the Department of Anthropology and directs the Levantine and cyber-archaeology laboratories at the University of California, San Diego. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.Mohammad Najjar is a lecturer in Near Eastern archaeology at Amman University, Jordan, and academic and curatorial adviser for the Museum With No Frontiers.Erez Ben-Yosef is a lecturer in the Department of Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Cultures and the head of the Levantine Archaeometallurgy Laboratory at Tel Aviv University.