A cross-regional initiative for the study of
monasticism in the late antique Near East
Fieldwork at Avdat
Since 2012, the team's fieldwork has focused mainly on two cave dwellings: the Cave of the Saints and the Dipinti Cave. The Cave of the Saints is situated on the first terrace along the western slope and derives its name from red-painted texts and figures ("dipinti") relating to warrior saints. This cave was initially excavated by Avraham Negev in the 1950s, but its possible connections to monastic life in the town has never been fully explored and therefore the team has launched a reinvestigation of it. The Dipinti Cave likewise contains painted figures and symbols, but in significantly greater numbers—hence the name given to this cave by the team. Like the Cave of the Saints, several of the dipinti in the Dipinti Cave may provide a link to monastic activities at Avdat. Work has also begun on the Dipinti Cave Building, a multi-roomed structure that articulated with the Dipinti Cave. Click on the buttons in the satellite map below to learn more about the team's work in each of these complexes. There are also buttons for the South Church, which plays a major role in interpreting some of the finds from the caves, and for the Ein Avdat Hermitage approximately 3 km north of the site, which is also critical to our understanding of monasticism at Avdat.