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Chalcolithic mines consisted of galleries excavated horizontally into hillsides (adits), while those of the Early Bronze Age became more sophisticated with vertical shafts to target rich copper silcates and malachite ores.

Dating the mines is largely dependent on the pottery fragments found within the waste heaps. More than 15 of these have been dated to the Early Bronze Age, primarily clustered in Wadi Khalid, with some reaching more than 50m into the hillside. WF1389 is a horizontal shaft in Wadi Khalid where large quantities of mining waste and Early Bronze Age pottery fragments have been found.

Location of WF1389

Bronze age mine in Wadi Khalid

Clay waste from the smelting process. Image: Professor Graeme Barker, University of Cambridge, UK

The smelting site of WF524 is located on this hilltop in Faynan