The location of Arad is well established since name of Tell ʿArad has survived in Arabic and its name is preserved on ostraca found at the site. It is located in what would have been southern Judah at the NE edge of the Beer-sheva Valley. The site is also mentioned twice on Sheshonq I's list as (“Arad the Greater” and “Arad of the House of Yeroḥam”). The tell is made up of a “lower” site where the larger EB area exists (22 acres), with large fortifications, and the “upper” site where Arad was resettled during the Iron age, 10th to 6th centuries over seven strata. The site was unoccupied during the conquest, but the king of Arad is said to be defeated in Numbers 21. There are over 100 inscribed Hebrew ostraca that have been found at the site during the Iron age in varying layers. Most of the Hebrew ostraca come from the 7th/6th centuries. A group of 18/19 letters form the Elyashib Archive, some kind of administrator or officer at Arad. Most of these detail food and supply dispatches, and probably date to the early 6th century about the same time as the Lachish ostraca. Other ostraca from the same stratum talk of troop movements apparently in defense again Edom.


ABD I:331-336; NIDB I:221

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