The arid region of the Negev in southern Israel, though largely inhospitable, hosted a thriving civilization in Biblical times. Copious traces of ancient life still await proper exploration—hiding in remote caves and buried in massive archaeological mounds (tells), which accumulated through consecutive human occupations. Tel Malḥata in the northern Negev and Yotvata in the south represent two such recently explored centers.
The 2003–2007 Excavations in the Late Roman Fort at YotvataEdited by Gwyn Davies and Jodi Magness (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2015), xii + 268 pp., color and b&w illustrations, $79.50 (cloth)
This volume reports on five seasons of excavation of the Late Roman fort at Yotvata, a tell at a strategic road junction in the Arava Valley south of the Dead Sea. The site is tentatively identified with Biblical Jotbathah, where the Israelites encamped during their desert wanderings (Deuteronomy 10:7), and with a Roman site dedicated to the Roman goddess Diana. In the immediate vicinity of the fort, other archaeological features have been identified, including what is likely a temple of Diana.