- The article presents results of a petrographic investigation of pottery from Iron IIA settlements in the Negev Highlands in southern Israel. It focuses on a group of almost exclusively handmade wares that are tempered with crushed slag. The polarizing and electron microscopes explicitly identify these inclusions as copper smelting slag. Based on the slag as well as certain rock inclusions, the slag-tempered wares can be sourced to the copper districts in the Wadi Arabah, and hence for the first time provide a link between the Negev Highlands and the Arabah copper production centers in the period under review. More specifically, they demonstrate direct involvement of at least part of the pastoral-nomadic Negev Highlands population in the copper extraction system.