Avdat is an ancient Nabatean city in present-day Israel, founded in the 3rd century BC. was founded. The city lies on the Incense Route, an important trade route connecting southern Arabia with the Mediterranean Sea.
Avdat was an important commercial city and a center for agriculture and livestock. The inhabitants of Avdat were mainly Nabataeans, but there was also a mixture of other cultures, including Greeks and Romans.
During the 1st century AD, Avdat was conquered by the Romans and incorporated into the Roman province of Arabia Petraea. Under Roman rule, the city experienced an economic boom and many public buildings, including an amphitheater, were built. In the 3rd century AD the city was conquered and occupied by the Sassanids.
The city was subsequently conquered by the Byzantines and later controlled by the Arabs and the Crusaders. In the 7th century AD, Avdat was destroyed by an earthquake and abandoned. It is often referred to as the 659 AD earthquake.
The earthquake is believed to have measured about 7.3 on the Richter scale and affected a large area of the eastern Mediterranean, including the Avdat area. In addition to Avdat, other cities and towns in the region were destroyed or severely damaged by the earthquake, including Jerusalem, Jericho, Bethlehem, Hebron and other places in Israel, Palestine and Jordan. It is estimated that the earthquake claimed thousands of lives and caused tremendous destruction.
The 659 AD earthquake was one of the strongest earthquakes ever recorded in the region and had far-reaching effects on the population and infrastructure in the region. The city fell into oblivion and was only rediscovered in the late 19th century.
Today Avdat is an important archaeological site and a popular tourist destination. The ruins of the city show the remains of buildings from different eras, including Nabataean, Roman, Byzantine and Arabic buildings. In 2005, Avdat was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.