Institute of Archaeology, Tel Aviv University

A line of Israelite defenses, including a fortress at H|orvat ‘Uza, was built in the Negev during the seventh–early sixth centuries B.C.E.—for reasons unknown, at least until recently. Now we have an explanation: These fortresses were probably erected, and new settlements were encouraged, as protection against Edomite incursion from the southeast. It is even likely that the Edomites took over this fortress towards the end of the Israelite monarchy.