Arad: Israelite fortress entrance area (with notes on stratigraphy)

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The gate of the fort faces east. The fort is roughly square (50m x 50m). An Israelite fort was first built on this site in the tenth century (stratum XI), during the period of the united monarchy. At that time the gate was in the northeast corner of the square, and the walls were of casemate construction. This was destroyed by fire, probably by Pharoah Shishak who in the Karnak Inscription recorded having conquered - among other Judean sites "the citadels of Greater Arad and Arad of the house of Jeruh?am". (Manor & Herion, 336) When the fort was rebuilt (stratum X, probably in the 9th century) the gate was in the middle of the eastern wall, and the walls were of solid construction.

Strata IX and VIII are both probably 8th century, and involved little alteration to the walls (see below on the covering of the altar in the temple in stratum VIII). Stratum VII (late 7th century) again involved primarily changes to the temple area (again see below). Arad VII was destroyed, and the rebuilding (stratum VI, early 6th century) was a more modest fort with casemate walls.


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