This article is dedicated to the memory of Professor Benjamin Mazar, our mentor, supporter and teacher. We cherish his memory and will always be grateful for his profound interest in our archaeological work at ‘En Hatzeva and in the Negev. His endeavors on behalf of Biblical archaeology have been and will continue to be an inspiration to generations of archaeologists.


See Itzhaq Beit-Arieh, “New Light on the Edomites,” BAR 14:02.


For Aroer, see Avraham Biran, “‘And David Sent Spoils … to the Elders in Aroer,’” BAR 09:02; for Kadesh-Barnea, see Rudolph Cohen, “Did I Excavate Kadesh-Barnea?” BAR 07:03.



Alois Musil, Arabia Petraea II. Edom (Vienna: k.u.k. Hof- und Universitäts-Buchhändler, 1907), pp. 207–208, figs. 144–145.


That mercantile links existed along established land/caravan routes as early as the Iron Age is suggested by the Biblical account of the Queen of Sheba’s visit to King Solomon (1 Kings 10:1–13; 2 Chronicles 9:1–12). See Yohanan Aharoni, “Forerunners of the Limes: Iron Age Fortresses in the Negev,” Israel Exploration Journal 17 (1967), p. 1; and John S. Holladay, Jr., “The Kingdoms of Israel and Judah: Political and Economic Centralization in the Iron IIA-B (Ca. 1000–750 BCE),” in Thomas E. Levy, ed., The Archaeology of Society in the Holy Land (New York: Facts on File, 1995), p. 383.


We are grateful to Michal Ben-Gal, Head Pottery Restorer at the Israel Antiquities Authority, whose skill, dedication and patience enabled the complete restoration of our assemblage.


Pirhiya Beck came to a similar conclusion several years ago regarding the H|orvat Qitmit assemblage. She identified Phoenician elements and various Transjordanian traditions in the iconographic material from Qitmit and proposed that the human figures cannot be the work of Judahite artists but may be the work of Edomite or other foreign pagan artisans; see Pirhiya Beck, “Catalogue of Cult Objects and Study of the Iconography,” in Itzhaq Beit-Arieh, ed., H|orvat Qitmit. An Edomite Shrine in the Biblical Negev, Institute of Archaeology Monograph 11 (Tel Aviv: Tel Aviv Univ., 1995), p. 189. We agree with her conclusion.


For examples of this decoration, see Nelson Glueck, “Some Edomite Pottery form Tell El-Kheleifeh, Parts I–II,” Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 188 (1967), pp. 37, 38, figs. 2:6a–6c, 5:2; Gary D. Pratico, “Nelson Glueck’s 1938–1940 Excavations at Tell el-Kheleifeh: A Reappraisal,” BASOR 259 (1985), p. 25, fig. 15:9; Crystal Bennett, “Excavations at Buseirah, Southern Jordan, 1972: Preliminary Report,” Levant VI (1974), fig. 16:4; and Rudolph Cohen, Kadesh-Barnea. A Fortress from the Time of the Judean Kingdom, Israel Museum Catalogue 233 (Jerusalem: Israel Museum, 1983).


See Kathleen M. Kenyon, Digging Up Jerusalem (New York: Praeger, 1974), pp. 137–144, plates 56–61; and Jerusalem: Excavating 3,000 Years of History (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1967), p. 101, figs. 8–10. Kenyon dates the pit a little earlier (to the reign of Hezekiah) and mentions that the figurines may have been broken intentionally. None of them, however, could be restored completely. Our vessels, on the other hand, were completely restored and are of a completely different type.


Excavations at the site of ‘En Hatzeva in the Negev, Israel, were conducted on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA). We wish to thank Amir Drori, General Director of the IAA, for his continuing support of the excavations since 1989. Through 1992, work there was directed by Rudolph Cohen.

The excavations in 1993–1995 were directed by Cohen and Yigal Yisrael with the assistance of Oded Feder, Eyal Tischler, Amir Ganor, Yacov Kalman, Meirav Zuaretz and Shala Blankstein. Also participating were N. Kollele, D. Poretzki, I. Watkin and R. Niculescu (surveyors), and N. Sneh and S. Mendrea (field photographers). Funding for the excavations was provided through the Negev Tourism Development Administration, and 50–60 workers from Yeruham were supplied by the Ministry of Labor. The editor of the ‘En Hatzeva excavation’s English publications is Caren Greenberg. For the most recent short report on the excavation, see Rudolph Cohen and Yigal Yisrael, ‘En H|aseva, Excavations and Surveys in Israel 15 (Israel Antiquities Authority, 1996), pp. 96–98.