In the Shadow of Timna? The Mining Region of Wadi Amram New Analytical and Archaeological Aspects


  • Andreas Ketelaer Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Institut für Archäologische Wissenschaften, Am Bergbaumuseum 31
  • Andreas Hauptmann Deutsches Bergbau-Museum Bochum, Research, Laboratory for Archaeology and Materials Science, Herner Str. 45, 44787 Bochum



Archaeometallurgy, Copper Ore, Trace Elements, Lead Isotope Analysis, Provenance Studies, Wadi Arabah


The copper mines of Wadi Amram are located only 10 km north of the prehistoric settlements Tall Hujayrat al-Ghuzlan and Tall al- Magass where there is some evidence of copper metallurgy in the Late Chalcolithic / Early Bronze Age I. These two settlements lay  near the Gulf of Aqaba and may have been important nodes for the distribution of copper during this period. Earlier lead isotopic  studies demonstrated that copper ores from the mines of Timna and Faynan are possible sources for the early copper production, but  up until now the much closer copper deposit of Wadi Amram has been ignored. New lead isotope data has shown that the Wadi  Amram copper ore can be distinguished from the ore from Timna and closely correlates to the Faynan copper ores. Some of the  copper-related objects from Tall Hujayrat al-Ghuzlan and Tall al-Magass have lead isotope ratios more comparable to ore from Wadi  Amram than from Timna and warrants a reassessment of the organization mode of the prehistoric mining industry in the southern  Levant.