Yizhar Hirschfeld

Most of the 30 cells found in Upper Ein Gedi are small—60 square feet on average—and thus would have accomodated only one person each. A few of the cells are somewhat larger—including cell 19 (photo at beginning of article) and the largest cell, cell 20 (shown here), in the middle of the site. With a ceiling probably supported by a wooden post, cell 20 contained a stove and cookware, leading Hirschfeld to conclude that it served as a kitchen (see reconstruction drawing)—at least during Upper Ein Gedi’s later, Byzantine period of occupation.