Biblical Archaeology Review 13:2, March/April 1987

Arad—An Ancient Israelite Fortress with a Temple to Yahweh

By Miriam AharoniZe’ev HerzogAnson F. Rainey

The Israelite fortress at Arad is unique in the Land of Israel. It’s the only site excavated with modern archaeological methods that contains a continuous archaeological record from the period of the Judges (c. 1200 B.C.) to the Babylonian destruction of the First Temple (580 B.C.). This distinction promises to make Arad the type-site for pottery chronology, especially in southern Israel, against which pottery from other sites can be confidently tested and dated. Not only is the pottery sequence continuous, but the timelines between the various strata during which the Israelite fortress was built and rebuilt are for the most part clear and can often be connected with well-known historical and datable events.

Arad is also special for other reasons. The Israelite fortress there was found to contain the only Israelite temple ever discovered in an archaeological excavation.

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