Three-dimensional documentation of masseboth sites in the 'Uvda Valley area, southern Negev, Israel

Reuma Arav, Sagi Filin, Uzi Avner, Dani Nadel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The deserts of the Near Eastern are exceptionally rich with cult sites, among which particularly common are ones with standing stones, also termed masseboth. Despite being a common phenomenon and especially important in terms of understanding ceremonial and spiritual life of past desert societies, such sites are rarely described in adequate detail. We hereby provide case studies where two distinct and complex sites in the 'Uvda Valley, southern Negev, Israel, that were documented three-dimensionally and in high resolution. The point clouds serve as a platform for modeling and a range of ensuing analyses. Following the extraction of geometrical attributes, their dimensions, proportions, and resulting weights are statistically analyzed as well as their spatial distribution within the site. The analyses therein provide new avenues for intra- and inter-site comparisons. Furthermore, they are incorporated in interpretations regarding religious developments in the desert, lacking the complex architecture known in the fertile lands.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-21
Number of pages13
JournalDigital Applications in Archaeology and Cultural Heritage
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier Ltd.


  • 'Uvda Valley
  • 3-D modeling
  • Cult sites
  • Laser scanning
  • LiDAR
  • Masseboth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • Anthropology
  • Archaeology
  • Computer Science Applications


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