© Hebrew Union College/Jewish Institute of Religion

A crucible with a nugget of copper slag still nestled in its hollow, and the remains of two tuyères—tube-like air vents for blast furnaces or forges—were discovered in the Iron Age strata at Tel Dan.

These—and similar finds from the Late Bronze Age—bear witness to a thriving metalworking industry at Dan from the Late Bronze Age to the tenth century B.C.—a finding that seems to accord with the Bible.

The Bible records that Hiram, the king of Tyre, sent to Solomon a “skillful and experienced craftsman” to help him construct the Temple at Jerusalem. The artisan, Hiram told Solomon, was “the son of a Danite woman” and “an experienced worker in gold, silver and copper” (2 Chronicles 2:13, 14). Hiram”s boast of the workman”s Danite heritage suggests a well-known and long-standing tradition of expert metalwork at the north (Galilean site, says Biran.