In October 2015, a salvage excavation was conducted in the Roman-period aqueduct at ‘En Hazeva (Permit No. A-7377; map ref. 223243-92/524496-551; Fig. 1), for fear that it would be damaged by the torrential flow of water in Nahal Hazeva after development and rehabilitation measures were implemented there. The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and financed by the ‘Arava Drainage and Streams Authority, was directed by Y. Haimi (photography), with the assistance of M. Kunin (surveying and drafting), G. Seriy (GPS) and volunteers from the ‘Blossoming Rose’ association.
A segment of the aqueduct (L1; length 22 m, width 0.6 m, max. depth 0.9 m; Figs. 4, 5) was exposed. This section, aligned northwest–southeast, was built of large, dressed stones. The aqueduct’s floor was made of material taken from the stream bed, which contained small stones. The opening of the aqueduct (Fig. 6), which was built of ashlars, was exposed at the mouth of Nahal Hazeva. Water flowed in the aqueduct in a northwesterly direction. In the course of the excavation, the aqueduct filled with water—the high groundwater found in the stream bed (Fig. 7). No remains of hydraulic plaster were discerned on the aqueduct’s walls, and it therefore appears that this conduit conveyed flood water from the stream bed to the agricultural areas to the north of the stream; since the aqueduct was in use only when the stream flooded, it was unnecessary to line it with plaster, because water was not constantly flowing through it. The construction of the aqueduct seems to reflect the importance of the agricultural areas it watered, areas that constituted part of the economy of the inhabitants who resided in the fortress.
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