On behalf of the Institute of Archaeology, Tel Aviv University, and the Israel Department of Antiquities.


I named the site after a small wadi at the foot of the site, named Wadi Qatamat in Arabic and Nahal Qitmit in Hebrew. “Qatamat” in Arabic means dusty, ashy sand. The Hebrew name is derived from the Mishnah and means ashes.


The expedition was directed by the author and included students of Tel Aviv University’s Institute of Archaeology, as well as a number of volunteers. The scientific team included Dani Weiss and Dani Goldschmidt, area supervisors; Liora Freud, area supervisor and registrar; Joseph Kapelyan, surveyor and drawer of finds; Moshe Weinberg and Avraham Hay, photographers. The pottery restoration was carried out in the institute’s laboratory by Naomi Nedav, Mira Barak, Yona Shapira and Rahel Pelta.


A wadi is a dry river or streambed that flows only as a result of flash floods in winter.


The seal impression reads: LQOSG[BR] MLK’[DM], “Belonging to Qosg[br] King of E[dom].”


See Anson F. Rainey, “The Saga of Eliashib,” BAR 13:02.


Other sites in the area of Edom where Edomite pottery has been found include Umm el-Biyara (perhaps Biblical Selah), Tawilan and a small site named Ghrareh, about 12 miles south of Petra.


For photographs and discussions of these two stands, see LaMoine F. DeVries, “Cult Stands—A Bewildering Variety of Shapes and Sizes,” BAR 13:04.


The Shephaleh is the Biblical term for the low hilly area between the Judean mountains and the coastal plain.



More recent evidence contradicts Glueck’s conclusion that the land of Edom was unoccupied between the beginning of the second millennium B.C. and the end of the 13th century B.C. Glueck’s conclusion, which is no longer accepted, supported a late date for the Israelite conquest of Canaan because prior to the 13th century the area was unoccupied. The Bible records that the Israelites met resistance from several peoples in this area on their march to Canaan. In the last decade, as a result of extensive archaeological surveys in Jordan, many sites dating to Middle Bronze II and Late Bronze periods have been discovered in the land of Edom, Moab and Ammon. Glueck’s conclusion must therefore be modified. (See James A. Sauer, “Transjordan in the Bronze and Iron Ages: A Critique of Glueck’s Synthesis,” Bulletin of the American Schools of Research 263 (1986), pp. 1–26; see also John J. Bimson and David Livingston, “Redating the Exodus,” BAR 13:05, pp. 40–53, 66–68; and Baruch Halpern, “Radical Exodus Redating Fatally Flawed,” BAR 13:06, pp. 56–61.)


Itzhaq Beit-Arieh and Bruce Gesson, “An Edomite Ostracon from Horvat ‘Uza,” Tel Aviv 12 (1985), pp. 96–101.