- Title: Avdat City Fortress 001
Avdat, also known as Abdah and Ovdat and Obodat, is a site of a ruined Nabataean city in the Negev desert in southern Israel. It was the most important city on the Incense Route after Petra, between the 1st century BCE and the 7th century CE. It was founded in the 3rd century BCE, and inhabited by Nabataeans, Romans, and Byzantines. Avdat was a seasonal camping ground for Nabataean caravans travelling along the early Petra–Gaza road (Darb es-Sultan) in the 3rd - late 2nd century BCE. The city's original name was changed to Avdat in honor of Nabataean King Obodas I, who, according to tradition, was revered as a deity and was buried there.
A wall was built around the later town, including a large area of man-made caves, some of which were partially inhabited in the Byzantine period.
Some scholars believe that Avdat served as a monastery during the Byzantine period. Krautheimer (1989) suggests that Avdat was both a monastery and a fortified garrison. Evidence of Avdat's monastic side is seen primarily in the architecture and inscriptions of the Byzantine period.
Avdat was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in June 2005.
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- Keywords: Fortress, City, Avdat
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