In Search of King Solomon's Mines

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In Search of King Solomon's Mines
In Search of King Solomon's Mines.jpg
Second edition cover
Author Tahir Shah
Illustrator Tahir Shah (photos)
Language English
Subject Ethiopia, folklore
Genre Travel
Published 2002 John Murray
Pages 320 pp.
ISBN 978-1-84511-698-9
OCLC 228197615
Preceded by Trail of Feathers
Followed by House of the Tiger King

In Search of King Solomon's Mines is a travel book by Anglo-Afghan author, Tahir Shah.


Shah's search began with a map in Jerusalem. The map showed a trail leading to the fabled mines of King Solomon, who built the first temple of Israel out of gold, mined from the land of Ophir.[1] Solomon’s Mines have enthralled and tormented all those who have searched for them and superstition whispers of terrible curses that will befall anyone that finds them. Bewitched by the legends, Tahir Shah decided to take up the quest.

Chasing clues gathered from passed traveler’s tales, and local folklore to the Septuagint, the copper scroll, and the Kebra Negast, Shah was led to Ethiopia, whose empress traces descent from the son born to King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, and where gold has been mined for millennia.[2]

In Harar, he fed wild hyenas that are said the guard Solomon’s treasure. With Samson, a miner-turner-taxi driver, he visited an illegal gold mine near Shakiso, where hundreds of men, women and children toiled in "a biblical Hell".

In the Emperor Haile Selassie's jeep, he explored the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela, where the gold of Sheba is kept and ventures on to Afar, possibly ancient Ophir. Shah’s desire was to reach the cursed mountain of Tulu Wallel, where decades before an English adventurer called Frank Hayter claimed to have discovered the gold mines of King Solomon.



  1. ^ Shah, Tahir (2007-02-06). "Excerpt: 'In Search of King Solomon's Mines'". NPR. Retrieved 2013-02-15. 
  2. ^ "Spring 2003: Editorial: Book Review: In Search of King Solomon's Mines". Mysterious World. 1995-01-01. Retrieved 2013-02-15. 

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