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Excavations in southern Jordan associated with the Edom Lowland Regional Archaeological Project (ELRAP) have demonstrated that the rise of Edom as a complex kingdom occurred earlier than previously thought. Some scholars had previously held that the formation of Iron Age Edom only occurred in the sixth or seventh centuries BC, and that no significant building activities took place in the region during the tenth century. Recently Jordanian archaeologists identified two peak copper production periods in the ancient kingdom of Edom, dating to 1200 BC and the ninth century BC. Mining and metal work are indicators of pollical power and social infrastructure in ancient times. This confirms the biblical description of the kingdom of Edom in the time of the Judges (Jgs 11:17-18), as well as one of the nations that King David subdued (2 Sm 8:11-14) and the fact that the king of Edom joined the coalition with King Joram of Israel and Jehoshaphat, king of Judah to fight against Moab (2 Kgs 3:9).

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