Donkey Stables

19 Jan 2017

In a recent screening of Robin Hood on TV (an old film from back in the 1950s or 1960s) they had a podgy Friar Tuck trying to coax a donkey out of a stable - but the donkey was having none of it. He just sat down and refused to budge - even though he was at first encouraged and then berated. The stubborn donkey just would not move. It seems donkeys were a common animal used to carry merchandise and equipment in the ancient world and they also had a better technique in getting them to move. At ... we have some archaeology from the Timna Valley in what was the ancient kingdom of Edom back in the Iron Age (or early first millennium BC). It is an arid region and because of that it has preserved some remarkable organic material. Israeli archaeologists have unearthed a military fort and donkey stables. The latter were used to carry equipment and supplies to what looks like a fortified settlement, defended against the desert tribesmen. The implication is that long distance trade was involved - with the kingdoms of Judah and Israel. The prize at Timna was copper.