Take a stretch of bone-dry rocky and pebbly soil, several days’ travel away from the nearest nowhere. At summer temperatures well into the forties (Celcius), you dig a hole in the ground. By hand, of course. Keep on digging and your hole develops into a shaft. You climb down your shaft and start branching out horizontally. From those branches you take the lumps of copper you find and sell them. If you can find a market somewhere, that is. Would you do this for a living? Now, 21st century? Well, people did once, at about the time the pyramids were built.
These mines in Timna Park are the oldest shaft-dug mines in the world. Apart from the mines, the park also has desolate landscapes and weirdly beautiful rock formations. Access roads are good, there are parking places and walking paths (bring sturdy shoes). As a contrast, the park also has an artificial lake with pedalos and a restaurant.
To go there, just rent a car in Eilat (several well-known rental companies are located near Eilat airport’s arrival hall) and drive north along Hwy 90 for some 30 kilometres. And that car will come in handy if you want to visit the Red Canyon as well.
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