(JNS.org) A 1,500-year-old livestock stable from the Byzantine period was discovered by Israeli and American archaeologists in the Ein Avdat National Park in the Negev.
Dr. Tali Erickson-Gini of the Israel Antiquities Authority and Professor Scott Bucking of DePaul University directed the joint excavation with participation from the Har HaNegev Field School.
“The identification as a stable was corroborated by an almost one meter thick layer of organic matter (donkey, sheep and goat manure) on the floor of the building," Bucking and Erickson-Gini said in a statement. "It seems that the place was destroyed by an earthquake that decimated the city of Ein Avdat in the early seventh century CE.”
The stable was built in one of the rock-hewn caves on the mountainside with stone basins inside that were most likely used for storing food and water for animals.
The archaeological team believes the stable, divided into stone-built rooms with crosses painted on the walls, was used by monks.