1,200-year-old rural estate discovered in Negev Desert in southern Israel


September 9, 2022

Yoli Schwartz/Israel Antiquities Authority

The excavation site at Rahat.

(JNS) - A 1,200-year-old luxurious rural estate-the first of its kind in the Negev-was exposed in the archaeological excavations carried out by the Israel Antiquities Authority and funded by the government through the Authority for the Development and Settlement of the Bedouin, prior to the expansion of the Bedouin town of Rahat.

A surprise awaited the archaeologists in the estate's courtyard: a unique vaulted complex overlying a three-meter-deep, rock-hewn water cistern.

Dating to the Early Islamic period (eighth to ninth centuries C.E.), the building was constructed around a central court...

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