Ora Paran

A plan of the first fortified settlement at Beer-sheba (Stratum VII) dating to Iron Age I in the early 11th century B.C. The individual houses were arranged in a belt to provide defense. The large open courtyard could be filled at night by herds of sheep and goats. Some houses also existed outside the main belt, mostly near the well. The solid black areas represent walls actually found. The other walls are reconstructed on the basis of the excavated walls. Note the two rooms on either side of the gate (marked X). These rooms extend beyond the outer line of the settlement and were probably protective towers.