Monday, April 16, 2012

TEL ARAD - Canaanite city and Isrealite fortess

About a 15 minute drive from the modern city Arad, west of the Dead Sea in the eastern Negev Desert lies Tel Arad. Evidence of life was found there as early as about 6000 years ago. 
It was settled by different inhabitants over a long period of time, but was at its largest at the Bronze age, about 3000 BC. The fortresses on the top of the mound were built by Judean kings in the later Israelite period. 
A high wall with watchtowers and gates circumferences the city, enclosing precise scale streets, housing areas, a market, shrines, the palace, a temple, and a huge deep water well. The latter was filled exclusively with rain water which streamed down the hill and was collected there. It was brought up to the fortress packed on animals. 

A typical residential house, now called the "Arad House" was reconstructed to give a good idea of the style of the cities dwellings. A stone bench runs around all the walls and a small kitchen room was built outside adjacent to the house. The ceiling was constructed of wooden beams, supported by a pillar in the middle of the room.
The people lived on agriculture and breeding of animals, like sheep, goats and cattle. They had olive groves as well. They dammed the wadis to secure the water. On its peak it was a striving city, with business conducted in trading as well.
Through the openings in the walls fields can be seen at the foot of the hill, near Bedouin living places. Nowadays they are irrigated with more modern methods, but as successful in bringing fertility to the desert as in ancient times.
The excavations started in the early 60ties. The walk through the ruins is easy and very impressive. It really spurs on the imagination. Wandering through the perfectly arranged streets along the dwellings of the people living there thousands of years ago made us think of their culture, of their rites, their beliefs, customs, symbols and living arrangements. Of their feelings, wishes, fears and hopes. 
Did they have always enough water? What did they wear? Woven clothes? Sandals? How did they keep warm in the cold desert nights? How did they endure the heat during the day? How did they cope with illness? A rotten tooth? What about toiletry and hygiene? Was there any? Yes, how did they live? A lot is known today - but much more we do not know. I wish, I could have an open window into the past, a real one, and just watch a bit...

This is a wonderful official link which tells you much more and in detail about this old Biblical place:

In seeing the dry ground of the location you would think nothing grows there but some low thorny shrubs. Here, look through my husbands eyes, he always finds some little treasures with his camera.

Photos by Uri Eshkar


Red Rose. said...

What an old and intereting historical site!! I spent time there with you today. It is always impressive for Uri to find small flowers, taking shots!!! They are so pretty.

Here in my town,cherry blossoms ended.It was a busy week for going out, seeing beautiful cherry blossoms!Finally I have enough time to sit and use my computer!
Have a good day.

Bob Bushell said...

Lovely old town, and thanks always Uri.


I love, love to see you amongst the ramains, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
Wonderful post, wonderful you kissed by flowers.

TarracoStyle said...

me encantan las flores y las ruinas, que país!!!!

Terri said...

You can find beauty anywhere, if you have the eye for it... and your hubby surely does! Thanks for the history lesson and the flowers. I always enjoy reading your blog!

stardust said...

Those lovely flowers bring richness and brightness on the seemingly barren land. Civilization has developed so far but probably we humans would have almost unchanged. I’m interested in what the ancient people of the Middle East valued or feared, their sense of birth and death, and like you I would like to peep into their way of life through a magic window. Thank you for this post with information, your thoughts, and the fabulous photos. Have happy days ahead, Yael and Uri.


Dawn of LaTouchables said...

...loved reading the history, Yael...and what a beautiful flower Uri caught (the one holding the book!)

Clare said...

Hallo dear Yael, sorry I have not been visiting for awhile. What a lovely read - as I was reading this post and looking at your pictures - I thought what a place to have lived in. I just love the stones and the rocks, the textures and colours.

Hilde said...

I loved your idea about having a magic window to the past to look through sometimes. I would like that too :)
Thank you so much for the walk around this ancient place, Yael. Great photos! And the flowers are just lovely :)

- Yvonaut -
Das sind Raphael und Yvonne

Vielen Dank für den Rundgang!
Wir sehen dein Land immer sehr gerne durch deine Fotos!
Schönes Wochenende
Yvonne & Raphael