Thomas E. Levy, UCSD Levantine Archaeology Lab

BIG BUSINESS. In the early Iron Age (1200–900 B.C.E.), copper production reached its peak and became heavily industrialized. The ore was brought from the mines to copper-production centers such as Khirbat en-Nahas (“Ruins of Copper”), where it would be smelted and then traded abroad in ingots. Over a hundred buildings at Khirbat en-Nahas were used for copper production. In this four-room workhouse, excavators found more than 350 grinding and pounding tools used to extract ore from the bedrock.