Kuntillet `Ajrud (orvat Teman). An 8th Century BCE Religious Site on the Judah-Sinai Border

Kuntillet ‘Ajrud (“solitary hill of wells”; called orvat Teman in Hebrew), is a single-period Israelite site, unique in character and finds. It is located in eastern Sinai, 50 km south of Kadesh-Barnea, on the edge of the territory of Judah, near the ancient road leading to Elat and southern Sinai. The site was excavated in 1975–76 by Dr. Ze’ev Meshel on behalf of the Institute of Archaeology at Tel Aviv University. Among the most important finds at the site are inscriptions, murals and drawings, most religious in nature, referring to “YHWH of Samaria and his Asherah” and “YHWH of Têmān and his Asherah”. Some of the finds reflect a strong northern influence originating in the Kingdom of Israel (rather than Judah). The site was apparently constructed about 800 BCE, on the orders of King Joash of Israel, who had defeated King Amaziah of Judah and taken control of his territory. The war between them apparently began with a dispute over renewed Red Sea trade and its profits. The contents of the inscriptions and most of the finds attest to the unparalleled uniqueness of the site as a religious centre related to royal journeys to Elat and Ezion-Geber, and perhaps also to pilgrimage to southern Sinai.

Kuntillet `Ajrud (Ḥorvat Teman). An 8th Century BCE Religious Site on the Judah-

  • Author

    Ze’ev Meshel

  • Year of publication


  • Details

    23.5 cm., 400 pages, hardcover, numerous illustrationsISBN 978-965-221-088-3 

  • Price

    $96 (Price for IES members: $72)