Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Solomon the shipping magnate?

MARINE ARCHAEOLOGY: Was King Solomon the ancient world’s first shipping magnate? Marine archaeologist unearths evidence suggesting biblical king’s riches were based on voyages he funded with Phoenician allies (Dalya Alberge, The Guardian).
Now British marine archaeologist Dr Sean Kingsley has amassed evidence showing that Solomon was not only a flesh-and-blood monarch but also the world’s first shipping magnate, who funded voyages carried out by his Phoenician allies in “history’s first special relationship”.

Over 10 years, Kingsley has carried out a maritime audit of “the Solomon question”. By extending the search beyond the Holy Land, across the Mediterranean to Spain and Sardinia, he found that archaeological evidence supports biblical descriptions of a partnership between Solomon, who “excelled all the kings of the earth in riches and in wisdom”, and the Phoenician king Hiram, who “supplied Solomon with cedar timber and gold, as much as he desired”.

Regular readers may remember Dr. Kingsley's 2006 book God's Gold: The Quest for the Lost Temple Treasure of Jerusalem, on which I have blogged (see here and here and links). In it he argued that the treasures looted from the Jerusalem Temple, after various perigrinations throughout the Mediterranean, ended up buried at a monastery in the West Bank. As usual with such things, I remain skeptical until someone goes and digs up the treasure.

Dr. Kingsley has been working on a new project. It raises, and evidently aims to address, questions about the historicity of the Solomon narrative in 1 Kings. I look forward to hearing more.

For more posts on marine (maritime, underwater) archaeology, see here and links (cf. here and here).

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