Israel Air Force

Elusa, the hub of the Nabatean trade network during the Middle Nabatean Period, dates at least to about 168 B.C. according to an inscription found there. Roads from Elusa linked to the network to Beer-Sheva and Jerusalem in the northeast and to Gaza in the northwest. Although the site is, as yet, little excavated, two brief seasons of work uncovered a horseshoe-shaped Nabatean theater, right, and a Christian church, left, whose large atrium may lie above a Nabatean temple. Nabatean capitals at the stage’s main entrance identified the builders of the theater.