In fact, we might attribute the sedentarization of the desert inhabitants to the prosperity of the Beer-Sheva basin and the flourishing commerce in the south under the United Monarchy, followed by economic decline and abandonment of the sites in the wake of Pharaoh Shishak’s invasion of Eretz Israel. But then we would expect stratum II at Tel Masos to exist also in the tenth century B.C. Moreover, if we assign the prosperity of the Negev highlands to the southern trade of the United Monarchy, it is difficult to explain why this prosperity did not return later, during the climax of the Kingdom of Judah’s activity in the south, or under Assyrian rule. This would indicate that the sedentarization phenomenon existed only when the desert people themselves controlled the Arabian trade and not when a monopoly was held by northern political entities.