Tel Arad National Park - a Canaanite city and fortress from the period of the Kingdom of Judah
Updated: Oct 2, 2022
Arad is mentioned in the Bible as a Canaanite city that fought the Israelites when they immigrated from Egypt and was later conquered by Joshua, son of Nun. The name of the town also appears in other ancient inscriptions from Egyptian sources.
Archaeological excavations began in the 1960s, revealing the Canaanite city and the citadel at the top of the mound.
Settlement in Arad began more than 5,000 years ago. Residential districts, palaces, temples, and markets were built on the site, and the water was collected in water reservoirs. The locals engaged in agriculture, and later Arad became a copper trading center.
In the tenth century BCE, a new settlement began in Arad as part of the Kingdom of Judah, and the citadel was built. It was also used in later periods, until the eighth century AD.
The Canaanite city
The water well, the bottom of which was hewn in the rock. 4.6 meter in diameter and 16 meter in length:
Houses. One of the houses, typical of the city, has been restored:
The city wall that surrounds the city. Width 2.4 meters. Guard towers were built on the outside:
The citadel wall was restored:
In the citadel center, they found a temple with an altar, an inner courtyard, a shrine, and a Dvir - "the Holy of Holies". The original exhibits are in the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, and replicated have been placed on the site.
An underground water reservoir connected to a rock-hewn channel and covered with stone slabs. The water was apparently raised from the city and poured into the canal and the pools.
From the top of the Hellenistic tower, which has also been restored, there is a scenic view of the entire area - Mount Hebron, the city of Arad, and the northern Negev mountains:
I walked with my 10-year-old daughter. In total, we walked around here for about an hour and a half.
🏯 In the summer, it is very worthwhile to arrive early - the park opens at 8:00. Hence, the weather is still reasonable and allows for a leisurely walk.
🏯 There are two options for a walk in the park. The first option is to start in the Canaanite city and walk to the citadel mound from there. The second option is to walk in the Canaanite city, return to the parking lot and drive to a parking lot near the citadel mound. The walk is not too long, so it is better to make the whole trip on foot - unless you have walking problems, or the weather is unbearable.
🏯 At the entrance to the park, there is a massive tree with tables underneath. Perfect place for a popsicle after the trip. No matter how hot outside, under the big tree and the shade, it is charming to sit with the winds of the desert.
🏯 There is also an overnight car park on-site.
Have Fun! 🤗
For more trips in the area press here