Courtesy Dr. Ze’ev Meshel/Israel Exploration Society

IN THE WILDERNESS. Beyond this dark-robed Bedu woman and her child walking with their donkey through the desert landscape, the flat hilltop of Kuntillet ‘Ajrud is visible in the distance to the north. It is located 10 miles west of the ancient Gaza Road, which passes through Bedouin territory separating the Negev desert from Egypt’s Sinai peninsula, connecting the city of Gaza on the Mediterranean coast to Eilat at the northern tip of the Red Sea. The ancient name of the site is unknown, so it goes by the name the Bedouin gave it, meaning “the solitary hill of the water source.”