En Gedi Antiquities National Park encompasses a Jewish settlement from the third to the sixth centuries CE, where dwellings and a synagogue have been excavated.
Buildings near the synagogue may have belonged to synagogue officials or served as study halls and an inn.
The floor of the ancient synagogue contains an intriguing inscription about a secret.
Some scholars believe it involved the production of balsam, a scent and salve worth its weight in gold from a bush once cultivated on the nearby rock terraces.
Photographer: Shlomi Kakun. From a PikiWiki.