Albatross/Duby Tal

The mountains of Edom appear in the background of this photo, which looks northeast across the Arava Valley. Extending from the Dead Sea to the Gulf of Eilat, the Arava formed the boundary between Israel and Edom, whose kingdom is attested in extra-Biblical sources as early as the 13th century B.C.E. It appears that the Edomites first crossed the Arava and settled in southern Judah in the late seventh or early sixth century B.C.E. By Greek times, Edomites had moved even deeper into Israel, and were called Idumeans. King Herod (37–4 B.C.E), an Idumean, was therefore a descendant of the sons of Esau.