Thursday, January 17, 2013
Byzantine Fortress -- Avdat
After the Roman residential quarter at the Avdat site the path runs through the South gate into the rectangular fortress as you see in the drawing. A vantage point in the southeast corner offers a view over the whole extent of the site with its (partially restored) walls and towers, a large cistern in the center of the courtyard and the remains of the Late Byzantine Chapel against the North Wall. The fortress had its own system of collecting and stockpiling rainwater -- in this enormous cistern with a capacity of some 200 cubic meters, carved out of stone. A pillar holds up the ceiling of the cistern, and the ancient plaster inside can still be seen on its walls. A passage in the North Wall gives access to the Roman Military Camp which measures about 90m (100 yds) square. The fortress, Roman Camp and the City of Avdat are collectively a UNESCO World Heritage Site.