Richard Cleave

Oboda (Avdat), the principal Nabatean military stronghold in the Negev. Oboda was one station in a triangle of caravan stops in the Negev that served as the foundation of the the Nabatean trade network during the Middle Nabatean Period (c. 30 B.C. to c. 50–70 A.D.). Oboda linked the central Negev with northern Arabia and Edom. Camel-borne troops stationed on this plateau manned the forts and protected the caravan routes. Part of the Nabatean military camp’s square structure can be seen at the upper far left. Numerous camel- and sheep-breeding enclosures appear just above and to the right of the line of greenery, at upper center.