Established by the Nabateans in 100’s BC. In 106 AD the Nabatean empire, including Avdat, was placed under Roman rule by Trajan. Nabateans established oasis settlements and a trading network between these settlements between Syria and Arabia from the Euphrates to the Red Sea. Avdat was one of the Nabatean’s establishments on the Spice Route.
Avdat peaked during the Byzantine period beginning in 325 AD until Avdat was destroyed by the Persians in 614 AD. The Nabateans established cities in places where there was not enough rain to support a population. But, the Nabateans carefully managed their water supply and grew rich on the trade routes. They channeled all water into cisterns. Avdat has four wine presses used to press the grapes they amazingly grew.
These presses can be seen today along with the channels where the wine flowed into a collection pit.
The Nabateans became Christian when Constantine converted. Remains of two churches can be seen: 1) the North Church from the 300’s; 2) Church of St. Theodore from the 400’s.