Beneath the Sands: Unearthing the Mysteries of Israel’s Negev Desert, Where 2,500-Year-Old Skeletons Tell a Story of Ages Past


In the course of a salvage excavation in the centre of the Negev highlands, near Tlalim Junction and Kibbutz Tlalim, a unique burial site dated to the middle of the first millennium BCE was discovered. The site appears to be located at the head of an ancient crossroad, and it seems that for generations it was used for communal graves and associated burial rituals carried out by travellers. Dozens of burials were found in the structures, along with an extraordinary wealth of special finds, most of which date to the middle of the first millennium BCE, from the end of the Iron II and the beginning of the Persian period. The site opens a gateway to multidisciplinary research related to identifying the origin of the finds, identifying the source of the burials and those interred, understanding its ritual significance, understanding the manner of burial and identifying ancient trade routes.


The Israel Antiquities Authority conducted two salvage excavations (A8944/21, A8943/21) funded by Mekorot Israel National Water Co. in preparation for the laying of a water pipe. The excavations were preceded by a survey along the pipeline route conducted by Nir Letzt Ben Ami and Martin David Pasternak.

We are grateful to Emil Aladjem and Davida Eisenberg-Degen (area supervison, data recording, photography and photogrammetry), Ilanit Azoulay (drafting), Yasser Alamor (logistics), Yossi Nagar (physical anthropology), Pablo Betzer (Southern Regional Archaeologist), Amir Golani (Southern Regional Scientific Officer), Gregory Seriy (Southern District Archaeologist), Anat Rasiuk (Southern Sub-district Archaeologist), the other members of the Israel Antiquities Authority’s Southern Regional Office who aided in the excavation and the workers from ꜤAraꜤra, Kseifa and Laqiya.

The authors also wish to thank the anonymous readers and the editor for their helpful critiques and suggestions.

Related Posts

Beyond Time: Exploring the Ancient Legacy of Varna Necropolis and its Gold Artifacts

The “Oldest Gold Of Mankind” was foυnd in the Varna Necropolis, on The Bυlgarian Black Sea Coast In 1972, an excavator operator working in the indυstrial zone…

Ancient Wonders Revealed: Unearthed Giants (3.28m) Rewrite Philippines’ History

Αside from mythology and folklore remains of extremely tall people have been reported, although rarely documented. Everyone will decide for himself whether or not to believe they…

Shivers of History: Skeleton Carrying Ancient Torture Mystery Found Bound at the Neck

A sk𝚎l𝚎t𝚘n ch𝚊in𝚎𝚍 𝚊t th𝚎 n𝚎ck w𝚊s 𝚞n𝚎𝚊𝚛th𝚎𝚍 𝚛𝚎c𝚎ntl𝚢, s𝚎n𝚍in𝚐 shiʋ𝚎𝚛s 𝚍𝚘wn th𝚎 s𝚙in𝚎s 𝚘𝚏 м𝚊n𝚢. This м𝚊c𝚊𝚋𝚛𝚎 𝚍isc𝚘ʋ𝚎𝚛𝚢 h𝚊s n𝚘t 𝚘nl𝚢 c𝚊𝚙tiʋ𝚊t𝚎𝚍 th𝚎 𝚊tt𝚎nti𝚘n 𝚘𝚏 𝚊𝚛ch𝚊𝚎𝚘l𝚘𝚐ists…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *