Werner Braun

The Israelite Temple to Yahweh: Steps flanked by limestone incense altars lead into a niche in the Holy of Holies at the Arad temple’s rear wall. In this four-foot by four-foot niche, two stone pillars (massevot) rise against the rear wall. The pillars and the incense altars are replicas, placed in position after the original artifacts were removed for safekeeping to the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.

When the Israelites built their first fortress (XI) at Arad in the tenth century B.C., they included a temple with a Holy of Holies. Through the centuries, as they modified their fortress, they preserved the temple. Finally, in the late seventh century B.C., the temple was abolished, during religious reforms by either King Josiah or King Hezekiah; the incense altars were reverently laid on their sides and were covered with earth.