DAWN ON THE DIG. Sunrise greets workers in Area E3 at Azekah. The temple complex discovered in this area was built in the 13th century BCE as an open-air structure oriented toward the east, with its inner sanctuary facing the rising sun; this configuration is similar to that of contemporary Egyptian solar temples. Roughly a century later, the temple was renovated, walled, and roofed. In the near distance is the Elah Valley, over which Azekah commanded an expansive view that gave the city its strategic and commercial importance. During this period of Egyptian hegemony throughout the southern Levant, the inhabitants of Azekah maintained strong ties with the pharaonic administration.