May 27, 2015
The Negev Desert, in the southern part of Israel, lies along the old trade routes from Rome to the Far East. Some 2,000 years ago, the ancient Roman Empire took control of these trade routes and annexed the Negev desert.
Among the most impressive features of Roman fortifications are the limites built along its empire borders during the waning years of its reign. This photo shows the Zohar Fortress ("Metsad" in Hebrew), a limes stalwart built on a cliff rising above Wadi Zohar, not far from the Dead Sea. Zohar Fortress controlled salt and minerals produced in the Dead Sea area and controlled the junction of two important ancient roads.
The top photo was taken from an observation site (about 650 ft or 198 m high) overlooking the Wadi Zohar and shows the stratification of sedimentary rock, the wadi bed with scattered acacia trees (pirocarpa) and the fortification cliff. The bottom shot shows a closer view of the cliff. Photos taken on December 28, 2014.