web analytics
July 29, 2015 / 13 Av, 5775
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post


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.

Current Top Story
Obama on Iran Deal
Is Obama a State Sponsor of Terrorism?
Latest News Stories
US Secy of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif shake hands.

A poll suggesting American Jews support the Iran deal is flawed, while a new poll reveals the opposite.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

Netanyahu called Pollard’s wife over news of his impending release from prison.

Israeli security forces surrouund the two "Draynoff" buildings in which Beit El residents had barricaded themselves to resist evacuation.

A tent city is raised in solidarity with Beit El residents, where two half-finished apartment buildings are threatened with demolition.

Bernie Sanders with supporters

“Sure, a lot of people like Bernie Sanders, but can he win?”

Former Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard will be freed in November after spending 30 years in a U.S. prison.

Arab children are taught to be “martyrs” at the Al Aqsa Mosque summer camp in Jerusalem.

Temple Mount activist Yehuda Glick praises Israel’s government but says “more” needs to be done about disparity at the site.

The scenes from last night and today in Beit El are eerily reminiscent of the scenes from Gush Katif 10 years ago, the above photo in particular.

Military officials called this a most serious incident, but stressed that the soldiers fled the outpost while the battalion and their fellow fighters were not on operational duty.

Gaddafi wasn’t in the court, as he is currently being held captive by one of the former rebel groups in Zintan.

Britain issues alert for its citizens against travel to Turkey due to “high” threat of terror attacks by ISIS.

The marijuana valued at $50 million, and seized in an operation over the past few months.

Nuttall told an undercover policeman that his wife believed she should send Jewish children to paradise, since “grown-up Jews” go to “eternal hell.”

Local Israel Police have arrested seven Jerusalem Arabs in connection with recent attacks on Jews.

Half of all Israeli Arab MKs ascended the Temple Mount to protest “police brutality,” expelling Jews along the way.

The Temple Mount movement strongly condemns Tuesday’s visit by Israeli Arab MKs to the ancient site.

More Articles from Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu
The picture speaks for itself.

The police acted out of “zero tolerance.” Arabs screaming “slaughter Jews” were not arrested.

death to america

The Secretary is visiting Egypt, but stopping off in Israel would only give ammunition to Congressmen opposing the nuclear deal with Iran.

High Court ordered the “illegal” building to be torn down. Bayit Yehudi MK threatens to tear down coalition government.

Israel’s giant generic firm will withdraw its troublesome bid for Mylan.

Acting Health Minister Yaakov Litzman says it will be supervised like any other drug that is considered a narcotic.

Jackie Mason now is at least the second Jew backing Trump, but in 2011 he called him a “professional liar” and a “sick man.”

A new Arab claim on Susiya is based on an alleged 1881 document and claiming “we were here first.”

President Obama has not responded to the tweets.

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: