In the last decade there have been an increasing number of Edomite artifacts that were exposed at sites from the seventh century BCE in the eastern Negev. Significant finds were discovered in excavations at Tel Malhatta, Horvat ‘Uza, Tel ‘Aro’er, Qitmit and in the Arad fortresses (where twenty four inscriptions were found in the 1960’s).

A number of interpretations have been proposed for this phenomenon, as being a reflection of trade relations between Judah and Edom; or a quiet influx of the Edomite population and its integration in the economic system of Judah in the region, or perhaps these are traces of trade caravans that led to the Mediterranean ports or perhaps this is none other than evidence of a forceful Edomite penetration for the purpose of controlling an important section of the trade international route in order to enjoy its benefits.
A study of the settlement map of the eastern Negev in the latter period of the kingdom shows the defensive alignment of the region was strengthened considerably in comparison with the past – a fact that underscores the direct connection between this fortification and the increase of the Edomite artifacts in it. This phenomenon reinforces the last interpretation that was raised above, namely the forceful penetration by Edom into the domain of Judah, an event that is also echoed in the Bible.