King Solomon’s mines were a myth, a 20-year study concluded

King Solomon’s fabled mines which helped the biblical ruler accumulate a gold stash worth more than £2.3TRILLION are a “complete myth”, historians believe.

The Old Testament King is said to have gathered 500 tonnes of pure gold from mines which some hopefuls believe still exist – and remain stuffed with precious metals.

But experts now claim the legendary source of Solomon’s incredible wealth never existed.

The ruins of Tanis, the capital city of Egyptian pharaoh Shoshenq I.

And they’ve also suggested Solomon was not even king of Israel, but in fact an Egyptian pharaoh whose story has been ‘misinterpreted’.

British historian and author Ralph Ellis said finding Solomon’s lost mines is ‘about as likely as taking a dip in the Fountain of Youth’ – the mythical spring that supposedly restores the youth of anyone who drinks from its waters.

He led 20 years of research into the story of Solomon, which is told in the Old Testament books of Kings and Chronicles, in a bid to trace the fabled mines.

But Ellis said the tales of staggering riches buried beneath the ground are likely a ‘gross misinterpretation’ of historical texts.

Valley of the Kings – Tombs in The Valley of Kings in Thebes, Egypt, were plundered to pay tribute to Shoshenq I.

He said there is still a ‘grain of historical truth’ to the story of Solomon’s spectacular wealth, but in a far less legendary capacity.

His study, which began in 1997, ‘strongly indicates’ Solomon was not a rich king of Israel at all, but rather a feared and powerful Egyptian Pharaoh.

Ellis believes neighbouring rulers plundered royal tombs located in Egypt’s Valley of the Kings and presented the riches to Solomon as ‘tribute’ to prevent invasion.

Speaking about his book, ‘Solomon, Pharaoh of Egypt’, the 54-year-old historian said: “According to the Bible, King Solomon was staggeringly wealthy.

“Yet successive generations of theologians and archaeologists have scoured the Holy Land looking for his capital city, palace, temple and wealth without any success.

“There comes a point when we either have to accept that the biblical account is entirely fictional, or that we may be looking in the wrong location and for the wrong things.

View of the Tanis tombs. French archaeologist Pierre Montet discovered a treasure trove of plundered grave goods in the tombs of Tanis, which biblical historian Ralph Ellis believes were the historical basis for the fabled King Solomon’s Mines.

“My research suggests that there is a factual basis for the story of Solomon and his riches, but that it was heavily amended and obscured by biblical scribes.

“A wealthy and powerful Israelite dynasty did exist, just as the Bible claims, but they were not simply Israelite kings and their capital city was not at Jerusalem.”

Ellis added: “This is not the kind of revelation which many Israeli archaeologists will want to hear, for political and cultural reasons, but unlike classical interpretations of the biblical story it does make sense of the confusing biblical accounts.”

He believes tales of pharaohs were considered ‘unpalatable and unacceptable’ by later biblical authors, who altered their history to create a “purely Israelite” hero.

He suggests if his theory is true, then Solomon’s treasures can be easily found at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, where scores of artefacts from the era can be seen.

According to the Old Testament Solomon ruled the United Monarchy of Israel and Judea between 970 and 931BC and accumulated 500 tonnes of pure gold.

Is this the face of King Solomon? Part of the Tanis treasures now on display in the Cairo museum, this golden mask may be a likeness of Egyptian pharaoh Shoshenq I.

Much of it was said to have come from a region called ‘Ophir’, but the Bible fails to give further details and its exact location remains a mystery.

The 1885 novel by Rider Haggard, ‘King Solomon’s Mines’, inspired countless expeditions into Africa, Arabia and Asia but no universally accepted evidence of Ophir has ever been discovered.

Ellis suggests kings Solomon and his father David were in fact pharaohs Psusennes II and his successor, Shoshenq I, who ruled an expanding empire that Egypt and Israel at the end of the 10th Century BCE.

Author Ralph Ellis by the Euphrates river.

He said: “There are compelling parallels between David and Solomon, and Psusennes and Shoshenq.

“Even the ancestors and family members of these ‘two’ royal dynasties appear to be exactly the same.

“Once we accept that these ‘Israelite’ kings were actually pharaohs of Lower Egypt, then all the inconsistencies in the biblical accounts are easily explainable.”

1 Response

  1. Michael Mifsud Canilla

    Thank God is all I can say, for writers like Ellis. Most people who dare t offer alternatives for so called biblical ambiguities and myth, are ostracised by radicals who simply want people to believe their claims for cultural and religious reasons. Of course there is no historical evidence for Solomon who has to be a Pharaoh with the name of a divine being. In fact this so called potentate King of Judea does not make sense having been born of a simple peasant who managed to slay a giant. Where did this empire he inherited come from ? David marries a Sheban and so does his son Solomon who is in any case relegated to a pagan faith. No greater sin than following Egyptian religious rituals even we do not know why he was a pagan and not apparently following his father´s faith. Nothing adds up and most certainly had nothing to do with Jerusalem other than that the Jebussites who ruled it allowed invaders to work under them and which have been mysteriously identified with the Jews. If they run away from Egypt, they would have hardly found refuge in a place so close by and after 40 years of wanderings. Historical findings will show all this to be no more than manipulated narrative and the truth will eventually put everything into place.

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