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Tel Arad

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Background on Arad in the Holy Land


Arad is located in te Negev, or Negeb, Israel's southern desert area. The region is comprised of about 4,000 square miles of sand, stone and scrub vegetation and looks a bit like a lunar landscape. The Negev is bounded on the easat by the Dead Sea and the Arava, on the west by the coastal plain. The Nabataeans in the Second Temple period created much of the settlement in the area, followed by the Byzantines. There is water from underground springs situated approximately 1000 metres beneath the surface. This brackish water is used for agriculture and, as a result, this wide desert expanse successfully grows approximately 60% of the country's agricultural products that are used for consumption locally.


The word negbah means south which is the direction you generally need to go to get there.


Arad has historically provided a great hiding place for runaways through all periods of history. Archaeologists have found remains of a 5,000 year old city in this area, establishing the Arad was long a strategic outpost at the southern entrance to Israel. There are a number of biblical references to Arad in the bible including Numbers 21:1, Numbers 33:40, Joshua 12:14 and Judges 1:16.

History of  Arad and Tel Arad in the Holy Land


Modern Arad was founded in 1961 and whatural gas discovered there made it a bit of a boom town. It is also a healthy spot for people who suffer from respiratory illnesses such as asthma. Its height (3,000 ft. above the Dead Sea) and is particularly good for asthma sufferers.


Tel Arad, northwest of the modern city of Arad in the northern Negev, is considered an important biblical site. The Tel (which means layers of civilization) consists of a lower and an upper city. The lower city was inhabited only in the Early Bronze Age (3150-2200 BCE). At approximately 100 dunams (25 acres) Arad was likely one of the largest cities in its day and was surrounded by a strong 1,200-meter wall. Archaeologica findings indicate that the roadways,  plazas, and buildings were extremely well laid out and included a reservoir. The style of the buildings included a broad room and kitchen as well as a place for storage and was known as the "Arad House".

The upper city was first settled in the Israelite period (1200 BCE). Remains from many other civilizations have been discovered throughout the site.


Highlights of Tel Arad in the Holy Land

The Israelite temple remains where you can see a minature of the Holy of Holies which was in Jerusalem.

Also  A meter-high, stone monument, painted red, was found on the paved bamah of the holy of holies while an altar was found in the courtyard in front of the hechal. Inscribed potshers with the names of priestly families was also found.  On the mound at Tel Arad archaeologists discovered a sanctuary built according tot he layout of the Holy of Holies in Solomon's temple in Jerusallem.




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Photo credit: Israel National Parks Authority


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