The Arches Site and the Egyptian Miner Cave
The trip begins near The Arches site parking lot in Timna Park, identified by the red marking on the steps to the right. After a few steps, you will not be able to miss the “Arch” in all its glory. Continue along the trail to discover 3,000-year-old Egyptian mining shafts. If you look inside through the iron grids, you can still see the diagonal marks of the miners’ axes. You can also notice the niches used by the miners to descend to the mine.
Climb the Arch to the balcony overlooking the northern basin of Timna Valley, then descend the ladder on the other side of the Arch to the sandy canyon. A sharp right turn marked in red will lead you to a dry watercourse. Continue along the red mark trail until you reach the ancient Egyptian mine. You can enter the mine and with the help of handles climb up to the balcony.
From the balcony, you can take in the magnificent views of Mount Berech, easily identified by the pair of antennae at the top. Continue westward on the red marked trail until you reach an additional dry watercourse facing south and left. Carefully descend until you reach the dry creek bed.
Turn east to the copper stream and shafts, observe the sides of the creek with the blue marking, you can see mining shafts from different periods. Mining from the Chalcolithic period (some 5,000- 7,000 years ago) is characterized by mining marks. Strips of dried leather were used to attach granite rocks to acacia branches to form hammers. The diagonal marks are more ‘modern’ were created with a chisel.
Turn left at the blue mark and climb from the streambed to the flat area. The fences before us surround the way to the oldest mine in the world! A short crawl in a 5,000-year-old mine reveals walls with copper veins that the miners were looking for. On leaving the mine, follow the blue sign that brings you back to the parking lot.