Tel Arad

Tel Arad, also known as “Old Arad” is situated at the west side of the Dead Sea, approximately 10 km west of modern Arad. Mountain ridges, which are identified as the Arad Plain, encircled its area. The place is separated into a lower city and an upper hill that embraces one significant incident, which is the discovery of the “House of Yahweh” in the land of Israel. Ruth Amiran and Yohanan Aharoni excavated Tel Arad during 18 seasons.

During the Chalcolithic period, nearly 4000 BCE, the lower part of Tel Arad was first established. Due to constant digging up on the site, they discovered a wide Bronze Age Canaanite neighborhood. On the upper hill, an unwalled piece of land separated as an official or sacred area was created during the Israelite era from the 11th century BCE. Shortly, the area was known as “The Citadel”.

At the time of Solomon and King David, the citadel and haven were built. Relics that were discovered inside the haven mostly indicate offerings of wine, wheat, oil and etc. brought there by several people during the supremacy of the kings of Judah until the fall of the kingdom to the Babylonians. Nevertheless, people were still transporting these things through the upper hill. Signs of the early rituals remain up to this very day, with broken pottery scattered all over the place.

For 500 years, Tel Arad remained in ruins until the Islamic period when the previous Roman citadel was rebuilt and remodeled. Then came a period of widespread rebellion and unrest and the citadel was destroyed once again, no more structures then were constructed on the area.

Today, the lower and upper areas are now part of the Tel Arad National Park. They have started the project of restoring its walls.

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