45 (K) And the pans, and
the shovels, and the basins; and all these utensils, which Hiram made to
king Solomon for the house of the Lord, were of burnished bronze.
46 In the plain of the Jordan did the king cast them, in the clay
ground between Succoth and Zaretan. I Kings 7:45-46.
Hiram of Tyre son of a widow of the Tribe of Napthali, not to be
confused with King Hiram was a "cunning worker of brass" who was brought
in by King Solomon to make all the vast number of brass artifacts for
There are two mysteries that interest us regarding these events.
1) The location of the two cities mentioned.
2) If the foundries were found, when are the dated? We are interested
in this because hopefully you remember that under the conventional
chronology Solomon is dated to Iron Age II A and under our revision to
the end of the Late Bronze Age. Under the conventional chronology the
Late Bronze Age comes to an end around 1200 BCE under our revision it
ends about the time of Shishak, 925 BCE.
The question then is "does the archaeology of the area help us in
determining which is correct?" After all the smelting of the brass
needed for Solomon's Temple was an enormous task and MUST have left some
It is generally agreed that the archaeological site of Deir Alla is
Succoth although it must be noted that its excavator H.J. Franken
preferred to identify that site with Gilgal. Glueck said Succoth
was tell Umm Hamad , S.W. of Deir Alla whilst Ottosson thought it to be
Tell es Saidiyeh, 5 miles NW of Deir Alla.
Whichever the exact location of the site what is important is that it
is in an area of rich clay deposits as described in the Biblical account
and a prerequisite for the smelting of brass.
A number of sites have been excavated in the region but evidence for
smelting has been restricted to Deir Alla. It is interesting to note the
The New Encyclopedia of Archaeological Excavations in the Holy Land
says this in their entry under Tell Deir 'Alla.
"After the destruction of the Late Bronze Age temple complex,
bronze smiths used the area of the ruins for their craft for about half
a century. There are indications that this population, at least in part,
lived in tents, staying there in winter and spring only".
Of course this is puzzling to the conventional archaeologists. They
know of bronze making 250 years later in the area but not at the end of
the Late Bronze Age. The Bible says one thing, the archaeology says
another. The additional question of course is why would bronze workers
behave like nomads.
Under our revised chronology however, everything becomes clear. The
end of the Late Bronze Age is the time of Solomon and the workers WERE
transients. They came from Tyre and went home to their families part of
No bronze foundries are found anywhere dated to Iron Age IIB the
conventional time of Solomon.
Michael S. Sanders
Irvine, May 2000