In Israel’s south Arabah plain, just north of Eilat, sits the Timnah Mountain. Various ethnic groups inhabited the area for about 6,000 years, from the Chalcolithic Period (4th millennium BCE) up to the Muslim Period (7th to 19th centuries CE) because of a large quantity of copper found there. In 1959, Israeli scholar Beno Rothenberg began an archeological survey and excavation project in the Timna Valley region. One of the items he studied is the “Chariots” engraving on a wall, depicting wildlife and human activity. The engraving is important because it portrays lives of workers from two different ethnic origins in the Timna mines, Midianites and Egyptians during the 12th-14th centuries BCE.
While a great find, “Chariots” also left the archaeologists with many unanswered questions, until now. Using a three dimensional technology, researchers scanned the large engraving allowing them to further examine its more subtle details. In addition to allowing a more in-depth study of “Chariots,” the new technology also provides a durable and accurate 3D model in the event of damage to the original.
The project was headed by a team from the Computerized Archaeology Laboratory in the Institute of Archaeology at HU. The laboratory combines advanced mathematics and computing methods with modern, high-precision scanners to provide digital three dimensional models of archaeological finds.