In a discovery straight out of an Indiana Jones movie, archaeologists believe they have uncovered one of the lost mines of King Solomon. The vast copper mine lies in an arid valley and was created in the 10th century BC ―around the time Solomon is believed to have ruled over the ancient Hebrews. The mines are enormous and would have generated a huge income for the king, who is famed for bringing extraordinary wealth and stability to the newly-united kingdom of Israel and Judah.
According to the Bible, Solomon was the third king of Israel and ruled for 40 years, between 965 BC and 925 BC. The son of King David ―of the David and Goliath story― and Queen Bathsheba, Solomon was renowned for his wisdom, his writings and the size of his harem. During his reign, Israel was at the heart of a prosperous and stable empire. He rebuilt Jerusalem, creating magnificent palaces and fortresses. He is said to have accumulated a huge fortune from mining and trading, some of which was spent on building the grand temple and opulent palace of Jerusalem.
Archaeologists and treasure-hunters have searched for the mines in Africa since 1885. This is because the best-selling Victorian novel, King Solomon's Mines, was set in this continent. Besides, it claimed they could hold a treasure of gold and diamonds. But now, it seems the real mines could have been closer to Solomon’s kingdom, and, in fact, supplied the king with copper. The ancient mine was found in a desolate region south of the Dead Sea in modern-day Jordan in an area called Khirbat en-Nahas, which means 'ruins of copper' in Arabic.
I. READING COMPREHENSION
1. Are the following statements TRUE or FALSE? Copy the evidence from the text. No marks are given for only TRUE or FALSE.
a. Israel and Judah were two different kingdoms before King Solomon’s time.
- TRUE: The mines are enormous and would have generated a huge income for the king, who is famed for bringing extraordinary wealth and stability to the newly-united kingdom of Israel and Judah.
b. The copper mines discovered are located in what is now Israel.
- FALSE: The ancient mine was found in a desolate region south of the Dead Sea in modern-day Jordan in an area called Khirbat en-Nahas, which means 'ruins of copper' in Arabic.
a. Why do archaeologists think they have found King Solomon's lost mines?
b. Why did treasure-hunters and archaeologists first look for the mines in Africa?
II. USE OF ENGLISH3.- Find the words in the text that mean:
- a. dry (paragraph 1): arid
- b. centre (paragraph 2): heart
- c. commerce (paragraph 2): trading
- d. nearer (paragraph 3): closer
4.- Complete the following sentences. Use the appropriate form of the word in brackets when given.
- a. All we know about King Solomon comes from the Bible.
- b. Before becoming (become) King of Judah. Solomon's father was a shepherd, according to the Old Testament.
- c. When the Queen of Sheba arrived King Solomon's palace, she gave (give) the king many gifts.
- d. The action of King Solomon's Mines takes place in Africa. The novel was written (write) by H.R. Haggard, whose adventure books were set in exotic locations.