Located between the dead sea and Beer Sheva, close to the desert city of Arad, is Tel Arad, an ancient city dating back to the Early Bronze Age around 5000 years ago. Surprisingly, there are quite a few things to see that are left from the city’s history, one of the largest cities in the area. Aside from the archeological findings, it has terrific views of the desert scenery of the area.
The Tel Arad National Park website has the intro :
Remains of a major city from the Bronze Age and the Israelite period
Tel Arad, northwest of the modern city of Arad in the northern Negev, consists of a lower and an upper city. The lower city was inhabited only in the Early Bronze Age (3150-2200 BCE). At approximately 100 dunams (25 acres) Arad was one of the largest cities of its day in this country, and surrounded by a strong 1,200-meter wall. The city’s streets, plazas, and buildings were meticulously planned, including a reservoir in the lowest part of the city to which surface runoff was channeled.
The standard plan of the dwellings, whose style became known as the ‘Arad house’ included a broad room and a kitchen or storage room.
The upper city was first settled in the Israelite period (1200 BCE).
A number of fortresses were built one on top of the other there until the Persian period (fourth century BCE). A highlight of the visit to Arad is the Israelite temple, which included a large outer sacred area, the hechal, and a smaller ‘holy of holies.’ The temple in Arad was a miniature version of Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem. A meter-high, stone monument, painted red, was found on the paved bamah of the holy of holies. An altar was found in the courtyard in front of the hechal. Another famous find at Arad are inscribed potsherds bearing the names of priestly families.
More information is provided by the Jewish Virtual Library.
Walk with me back into Israelite and Canaanite history.
I combined this with a visit to the nearby Mamshit.