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ENGEDI Israel.

The capital of one of the districts of Herod's kingdom (Joseph. BJ 3.55; 4.402-4), on the W shore of the Dead Sea. During the time of the Second Revolt of the Jews against the Romans, it was the seat of Bar Kohba, the leader of the revolt. On account of its fertile soil and copious spring, the oasis of Engedi was highly praised in antiquity. Its palm groves were famous (Plin. HN 5.17), and still more important was its grove of balsam (Joseph. AJ 9.7; Plin. HN 12.118), still known in the Late Roman period (Eus. Onom. 86.1.19) when Engedi was still a large village.

The site was excavated between 1961 and 1965. Four main occupation levels were observed, ranging from the end of the Iron Age to the Roman and Byzantine periods. To the Persian period (5th-4th c. B.C.) belongs a large dwelling (24 x 26 m). It contained 23 rooms and storerooms built around central courtyards. Part of the house was two stories high. Some rooms contained industrial installations, probably for the perfume industry. To the Hellenistic period (3d-2d c. B.C.) belong fragmentary remains of a trapezoidal fortress, which occupied the higher part of the mound. In the Herodian period (1st c. A.D.) an oblong fort was built on the mound, with walls 2 m thick. In the 2d c. A.D. a bath of the usual Roman type was built, probably by a Roman garrison which was stationed on the site.


B. Mazar et al. “En-Gedi, The First and Second Seasons of Excavations, 1961-1962,” Atiqot V (1966); id. & I. Dunayevski, “En-Gedi, Fourth and Fifth Seasons of Excavations. Preliminary Report,” Israel Exploration Journal 17 (1967) 133-43.


hide References (2 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (2):
    • Flavius Josephus, Jewish Antiquities, 9.7
    • Flavius Josephus, The Jewish War, 3.55
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