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Tel Arad Review
The 250-acre site of the biblical city of Arad (to the northwest of the modern city) contains the remains of a major metropolis from the Bronze Age and the Israelite period. The lower city, with its meticulously planned streets and plazas, was inhabited in the Early Bronze Age (3150–2200 BC), when it was one of the largest cities in this region. Here you can walk around a walled urban community and enter the carefully reconstructed dwellings, whose style became known as the "Arad house."
After the Early Bronze Age, Arad was abandoned. The book of Numbers (21:1–3) relates that the Canaanite king of Arad battled the Israelites during the exodus from Egypt but that his cities were "utterly destroyed." The upper city was first settled in the Israelite period (1200 BC). It's worth the trek up the somewhat steep path to see the Israelite temple, a miniature version of Solomon's Temple in Jerusalem.
At the entrance, pick up a free pamphlet explaining the ongoing excavations and purchase the NIS 8 plan of the Canaanite city of Arad, with a map, recommended walking tour, and diagrams of a typical Arad house. Tel Arad is 8 km (5 miles) west of Arad. At the Tel Arad Junction on Route 31, turn north on Route 80 for 3 km (2 miles).
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