The unique feature of the settlement at En-Gedi, which was occupied virtually without interruption from 650 BCE to 650 CE, was its homogeneous Jewish character throughout its long history. Founded in a desolate region, it almost always received assistance from a central government because it produced perfumes more precious than gold. The settlement was periodically destroyed: during the destruction of the First Temple, at the end of the Persian period, and during the First and Second Jewish Revolts against Rome; but in each of these cases, it soon recovered and was rebuilt as a Jewish settlement. Other populations also settled there from time to time: some clear Edomite and Phoenician influences can be discerned among its early remains, and signs of the Nabateans and of the Roman army are evident in its later stages.
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