Courtesy Ruth Amiran

Early Bronze Arad. About 1,500 years before the Israelites first settled on the summit of the hill of Arad, a sprawling, 25-acre walled city occupied the lower slope. This panorama encompasses dwellings nestling close to the southernmost segment of the curving city wall. Almost one mile in length, the wall was studded with protruding semicircular towers, probably at intervals of 80–125 feet. Three of the towers were discovered on the perimeter of this area (called Area K by Ruth Amiran, the excavator). One tower may be seen on the end of the city wall at the left edge of the photo. It appears as an opening in shadow on the top surface of the wall, connected to the inner city by a narrow passage.

A wide street dividing to right and left separates two dwelling areas in the center of the photo. Access to some of the rectangular houses is through courtyards, rather than directly from the street.

A natural depression, north of the area of this photograph, served the Early Bronze city as a catchment basin for rain runoff. Certain streets seem to be purposely oriented radially from the central depression in order to channel runoff to that area. It was in the natural depression that the Israelite settlers on the hilltop dug their deep well to tap a reliable underground water source.