Khirbat en-Nahas

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Black piles of slag define Khirbat en-Nahas in this satellite image.

Khirbat en-Nahas — or Khirbet en Nahas — is one of the largest copper mining and smelting sites of the ancient world, built around 3,000 years ago.[1] It is located in Wadi Faynan, between the Dead Sea and the Gulf of Aqaba, now in Jordan. There is evidence for sophisticated economic and political activity in the valley about 3,000 years ago and archaeologists think it may be the site of an early organized state.[1]

Archaeologist Thomas Levy of the University of California, San Diego, heads a dig at Khirbat en-Nahas that has uncovered an ancient copper mining operation on a scale that he says can have been organized by only "an ancient state or kingdom."[2]

It is through the ground stone tools assembled on site at Khirbat en-Nahas that much research for the understanding of Iron Age copper mining and production is being conducted.[3]

Khirbat en-Nahas is located in Jordan
Khirbat en-Nahas
Khirbat en-Nahas
Location within Jordan


  1. ^ a b "Earth Observing-1: Ten Years of Innovation". NASA.
  2. ^ [1] Robert Draper, Kings of Controversy, National Geographic, December 2010.
  3. ^ Levy, Thomas E.; Bettilyon, Megan; Burton, Margie M. (2016-10-31). "The Iron Age copper industrial complex: A preliminary study of the role of ground stone tools at Khirbat en-Nahas, Jordan". Journal of Lithic Studies. 3 (3): 313–335. doi:10.2218/jls.v3i3.1648. ISSN 2055-0472.

See also[edit]

  • Khirbet

Coordinates: 30°40′50″N 35°26′10″E / 30.68056°N 35.43611°E / 30.68056; 35.43611