Glimpses of Israel - Timnah Valley

Timnah Valley is located 30 km north of Eilat, in the heart of the Arava. The valley is famous for its ancient copper mines dating back to 4,000 BC. The valley is semi-circular surrounded by 300m cliffs on the north, west and south and covers an area of approximately 70 square kilometres.

With over ten thousand mine shafts located in the valley the area has had a history of operators including the Egyptian Pharaohs from the 14th to the 12th century BC, and later the Romans and Arabs. There is no Biblical or archaeological evidence to suggest that King Solomon or any other king of Israel mined in this locale. However, today the valley is the main source of stone for the modern city of Eilat.

A visitor to the valley today will find a beautiful nature reserve and park, including a man-made lake, Timnah Lake. The soft sandstone environment reveal unusual and stunning sights, like the Mushroom Stone – a huge stone formed from years of weathering, shaped like a mushroom, and a spectacular sandstone formation in the centre of the valley, known as Solomon's Pillars.

Ancient inscriptions of paintings of chariots tell stories from the past; hunters with bows and arrows, and animals from the 13th to 11th century BC. Wall drawings of Raamses III offering gifts to the Goddess Hathor can also be seen, as well as the excavated Egyptian Temple dedicated to her.