Biblical Archaeology Review 13:2, March/April 1987

The Well at Arad

Excavating the missing link in the water-system of the Israelite fortress

By Ruth AmiranRolf GoethertOrnit Ilan

Arad is actually a double site—a large and spacious 25-acre Canaanite city and a small, three-quarter-acre Israelite fortress. The ancient sites are situated on a bowl-shaped hill six miles from the attractive, modern, desert city of Arad in the Negev. The Israelite fortress is on the northeastern height of the hill. Below this Israelite citadel (11th to 6th centuries B.C.) stretch the extensive remains of the Canaanite settlement (3200–2650 B.C.), the latter encircled by its distinctive city wall interrupted by 11 extant round towers.a Two gateways to this city have been excavated.

The configuration of the bowl-shaped hill invites a certain kind of human use—settlement on the slopes and use of the low center to collect seasonal rain water and runoffs.

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