Monday, February 20, 2012

Arad & Avdat

Well into the Negev lie two abandoned cities, mostly in ruins. 

Arad is an ancient, mixed Israelite & Canaanite city, well known for the Temple that was constructed there (mimicking the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem). In fact, it was one of at least three operating temples during the time of the Jewish Kings--though later worship was restricted to the Temple of Solomon only. The Temple in Arad holds obvious significance to the LDS community.

Avdat is a fortress on a hill. Most recently occupied by the Romans, Avdat is more interesting than your average tel. Most of the ruins are still intact, the views are incredible, and even two early Christian churches are still standing. Avdat was one of the most well-kept sites we've visited. The last time BYU students visited Avdat was in 2000. Though the city possesses virtually no biblical significance, it was voted a must see for future semesters.

Early Jewish Temple at Arad:

Byzantine Chruch

A view from the top of Avdat




  1. Pretty cool that you were able to visit this site after such a long reprieve for past BYU students.

  2. Very interesting! I am interested to know why students stopped visiting these sites after 2000... I am glad that you were able to see them. Yes, I am teaching Isaiah in Sunday School next week, and he had a love for temples and "restoration"... It is neat that you are in the midst of so many historical sites! Keep learning! :-)