Tel Arad

Tel Arad in Wikipedia

Tel Arad (Hebrew: תל ערד‎) or 'old' Arad is located west of the Dead Sea, about 10 km west of modern Arad in an area surrounded by mountain ridges which is known as the Arad Plain. The site is divided into a lower city and an upper hill which holds the only ever discovered 'House of Yahweh' in the land of Israel.[1] Tel Arad was excavated during 18 seasons by Ruth Amiran and Yohanan Aharoni. The Lower City And Upper Hill -- The lower area was first settled during the Chalcolithic period, around 4000 BCE. Excavations at the site have unearthed an extensive Bronze Age Canaanite settlement which was in place until approximately 2650 BCE. The site was then apparently deserted for over 1500 years until resettled during the Israelite period from the 11th century BCE onwards, initially as an unwalled piece of land cut off as an official or sacred domain was established on the upper hill, and then later as a garrison-town known as 'The Citadel'. The citadel and sanctuary were constructed at the time of King David and Solomon. Artifacts found within the sanctuary of the citadel mostly reflect offerings of oil, wine, wheat, etc. brought there by numerous people throughout the reign of the kings of Judah until the kingdom's fall to the Babylonians. However, during the Persian, Maccabean, Roman, and early Muslim eras, locals continued to transport these items to the sacred precinct of the upper hill. Markers of these ancient Israelite rituals remain to this day, with broken pottery littering the entire site. Under the Judaean kings the citadel was periodically refortified, remodeled and rebuilt, until ultimately it was destroyed between 597 BCE and 577 BCE whilst Jerusalem was under siege by Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar II. Among the most significant artifacts unearthed from this time are ostraca dating from the mid-7th century BCE, referring to this citadel as the House of Yahweh (Biblical term). Habitation of Tel Arad and the upper citadel did not end with the Babylonian siege. During the Persian period (5th - 4th centuries BCE) almost a hundred ostracon and pottery were written in Aramaic, mostly accounts of locals who brought oil, wine, wheat, etc. to the upper hill. Thus, several citadels were built one upon the other and existed in the Hellenistic and Roman periods. Herod even reconstructed the lower city for the purpose of making bread. The site lasted til the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and completely expelled the 'circumcised' in 135 AD. Tel Arad laid in ruins for 500 years until the Islamic period when the former Roman citadel was rebuilt and remodeled by some prosperous clan in the area and functioned for 200 years until around 861 AD when there was a breakdown of central authority and a period of widespread rebellion and unrest. The citadel was destroyed and no more structures were built on the site...

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Ancient Arad

Ancient Arad is located in the Negev, some 30 km. northeast of Beer Sheva, on a hill that rises 40 m. above the surrounding plain. During the 18 seasons of excavation conducted from 1962- 1984, it became clear that the remains of ancient Arad are located in two separate areas and are from two distinct periods. The Canaanite city (3rd millennium BCE) was located mainly on the southern slope of the hill. On the summit of this hill, several fortresses were built in the period of the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah (10th-6th centuries BCE) and also later, during the Persian, Hellenistic and Roman periods (5th century BCE to 4th century CE). In the Early Arab period (7th-10th century), a fortified caravansary was established to protect the trade routes which passed there. Arad is mentioned in the Bible in the story of the failed attempt to reach the Promised Land (Numbers 21:1) and in the list of the Canaanite kings defeated by the Children of Israel. (Joshua 12:14) There exists, however, a historical-chronological problem with this biblical account, as there is no evidence that Tel (Heb., mound) Arad was inhabited during the Late Bronze Age. Scholars suggest that the King of Arad mentioned in the Bible was in fact the ruler of the Kingdom of Arad, "the Negev of Arad" (Judges 1:16), whose capital was another city. (Jewish Virtual Library)

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