web analytics
December 21, 2014 / 29 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
8000 meals Celebrate Eight Days of Chanukah – With 8,000 Free Meals Daily to Israel’s Poor

Join Meir Panim’s campaign to “light up” Chanukah for families in need.



Ancient Site Restored after Modern Vandalism

Nabatean King Obodas, revered as a deity, built the southern Negev city of Avdat 2000 years ago. Vandals tried to destroy it three years ago. Now it has been restored.

Damaged section of Avdat National Park

Damaged section of Avdat National Park
Photo Credit: Flash 90

Six different Israeli ministries invested nearly $2 million to repair damage, much of it irreversible, after unknown vandals in October 2009 assaulted the site, designated by UNESCO (United Nations Science and Culture Organization) as a world’s cultural heritage.

Three other Nabatean cities in the Negev have the same status, and unusual recognition that is credited to the discovery of some of the oldest Byzantine churches.

The vandals managed it pull down columns that stood for centuries, and they left behind damage that “never before has been seen in Israel,” according to the Nature and Parks Authority’s southern district official, Raviv Shapiro.

The staff at Avdat was shocked to discover that stones had been smashed, and graffiti was scrawled on an altar, on one of the oldest wine presses in Israel and on walls over a large area.

Shapiro is pleased that the site now has been re-opened for visitors after massive rehabilitation efforts have actually made the site “look a lot better than it was before the vandalism.”

However, the archaeological value of many fragile artifacts has been lost forever, adds Nature Authority official Orit Bortnik.

Restoration work included preserving the remains of the site, including church columns.

Displays that demonstrate how the Nabatean city appeared 2,000 years ago have been erected, and, better late than never, security cameras have been installed to deter future vandalism.

The Nabatean city of Avdat, named after King Obodas who was known in Arabic as Abdah, is located in Avdat National Park, which includes hiking trails, springs, groves and wildlife. The city is on the “Spice Route” along which merchants traveled with perfumes and spices from East Africa and Arabia.

Historians estimate that the Nabateans were nomadic tribes from northern Arabia and who settled in the area after the first century in the Common Era, when they ere influenced by the Green Hellenistic world.

The Nabatean way stations at the main crossroads in the Negev developed into cities, where the former nomads developed an agriculture based on terraces built on the hillsides.

Nabatean Avdat also included a residential quarter, a military camp and various pens in which camels, sheep and goats were kept, and horses which became famous as racehorses were bred.

The Romans conquered the Nabatean kingdom, and Avdat fell into decline. Nature took over and destroyed it in an earthquake in the year 363.

In the sixth century, under Byzantine rule, a citadel and a monastery with two churches were built on the acropolis and residential quarters were established on the slopes. This city was destroyed, probably by another earthquake, and abandoned in the seventh century.

Israeli archaeologists discovered Avdat in excavations carried out from 1958.

About the Author: Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu is a graduate in journalism and economics from The George Washington University. He has worked as a cub reporter in rural Virginia and as senior copy editor for major Canadian metropolitan dailies. Tzvi wrote for Arutz Sheva for several years before joining the Jewish Press.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Ancient Site Restored after Modern Vandalism”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Israel Lebanon Peace Project Flag
UN Demands Israel Pay Lebanon $850 Million
Latest News Stories
Netanyahu lighting Menorah at Kotel

PM Netanyahu lit the 5th Chanukah candle at the Kotel. We understand that he then sung a beautiful rendition of Maoz Tzur, but we unfortunately don’t have that on video.

It doesn’t pay to be a foreign volunteer soldier in the ISIS army.

TT-pure-olive-oil-events

This is the first flask of ritually pure olive oil made in 2000 years.

Israel Lebanon Peace Project Flag

First Lebanon’s Hezbollah started the Second Lebanon War, now the UN wants Israel to pay Lebanon for damages.

Stern expressed dismay at Tzipi Livni’s merger with the Labor party.

The Islamic terrorist entered the police station and began stabbing policemen while yelling “Allah hu Akbar”.

Two girls in Kibbutz Nir Yitzchak were taking a selfie video when the rocket siren went off on Friday morning.

M. was sitting at a red light when he saw the terrorist run past him…

The small Arab parties are talking about merging, and this could result in 14 seats for the Arab sector.

Hamas called Israel’s response to the Gazan attack a “serious escalation”.

Prosecutor in Ferguson case said ‘some witnesses lied under oath’ to support officer’s version of events.

PA Arabs are continuing near-daily clashes with IDF soldiers; on Friday, fierce fighting broke out after sermons at mosques.

Rocket fire was directed by Gaza terrorists at southern Israel’s Eshkol district on Friday for the third time since the summer.

Police must have been too busy arresting Jewish children to notice the Hamas rally on the Temple Mount today.

Was top Hezbollah terrorist a spy for Israel?

Reshet Bet has released their latest election poll…

More Articles from Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu
The annual  Chabad menorah lighting in Sydney has been called off this year because of the murders in the Lindt cafe.

The decision to not publicly light the Menorah in Sydney, epitomizes the eternal dilemma of Judaism and Jews in the Diaspora.

The annual  Chabad menorah lighting in Sydney has been called off this year because of the murders in the Lindt cafe.

Is Sydney also going to turn out the lights on Christmas trees?

Are machine gun shots all night long and the death from a “work accident” not enough evidence for the EU court?

The State Dept. re-defines “unilateral” and won’t veto a resolution that does not explicitly ”prejudge” outcome of peace talks.

High housing prices are blamed, but has anyone suggested that working for a living might help?

The decision may boomerang on Hamas once the court studies new evidence to prove Israel’s case.

Abbas’ counting on vocal support doesn’t mean he knows how to count votes.

Cannabis is being touted as a cure for diseases from diabetes to Parkinson’s and epilepsy.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/ancient-site-restored-after-modern-vandalism/2013/01/30/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: