What does Yotvata mean to me?
Yotvata – יטבתה is the dream of every infantryman in basic training in the Negev. ICE-cold Yotvata chocolate mik! This is a must for any family travelling south to Eilat. Believe me. I have travelled there with children.
Ein Yotvata – Ein Radian
The springs of Yotvata were an important stop on the north-south road in the Arava desert, located between the Negev the Jordan hills. In ancient times Ein Radian was the largest spring in the southern Arava region, and naturally served as a way station for travelers on their way from east of the Jordan to the Mediterranean Sea or from the Negev to Eilat. The site may have been one of the stations of the Israelite exodus. Deuteronomy 10, 7: “From thence they journeyed … to Jotbath, a land of rivers of waters”. After the establishment of the State of Israel, the spring’s water was used by the residents of nearby Kibbutz Yotvata, which was founded in the 1950s. Over the years, pumping by the Mekorot Water Company dried up the ground
When the Roman Empire ruled this area, a fortress was built to guard the water and provide services to wayfarers in the Arava, north of Timna. The ruins of this square fortress are from the reign of Emperor Diocletian, who ruled in this region in the early 4th century. The remains of a Roman bathhouse can be seen to the north of the fortress. The Turks built a police station on top of the fortress, which was later used by the British Camel Corps.
Yotvata’s first dairy herd, which produced very high quality milk and made Yotvata dairy products famous, roamed around the oasis.