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Shivta, Israel

5.0
#115 of 208 in Historic Sites in Israel
Shivta, is an ancient city in the Negev Desert of Israel located 43 kilometers southwest of Beersheba. Shivta was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in June 2005.HistoryLong considered a classic Nabataean town on the ancient spice route, archaeologists are now considering the possibility that Shivta was a Byzantine agricultural colony and a way station for pilgrims en route to the Saint Catherine's Monastery in the Sinai Peninsula.Roman ruins from the first century BCE have been unearthed in the southern part of the town, but most of the archaeological findings date to the Byzantine period. Shivta’s water supply was based on surface runoff collected in large reservoirs.Three Byzantine churches (a main church and two smaller churches), 2 wine-presses, residential areas and administrative buildings have been excavated at Shivta. After the Arab conquest in the 7th century CE, the population dwindled. It was finally abandoned in the 8th or 9th Century CE.In 1933-34, American archaeologist Harris D. Colt conducted a dig at Shivta. The house he lived in bears an inscription in ancient Greek that reads: “With good luck. Colt built (this house) with his own money."The wine presses at Shivta give an insight into the scale of wine production at the time. According to the calculations of archaeologists, the Nabatean/Byzantine village of Shivta produced about two million liters of wine.
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Shivta Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
16 reviews
Google
5.0
TripAdvisor
  • A great experience; not yet discovered by mass, so you can see all nice and quiet. It is very much larger and more impressive than you might think. Very special that they could build so many trade could set up in the desert. Recommended and take plenty of water with you!!
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  • Very quiet place. Old cities in the desert have a lot to tell. There are several places like shivta around in the Negev. The stood on the ancient insense trail. Hard to believe this region once blosse...  more »
  • No entrance fee, easy to follow path with self guiding brochure. Unesco World Heritge Site. If you are interested in archeology/ history well worth the detour. Need a car. Bring hats and water.  more »
Google
  • I and my husband spent a night here. The owner is a really kind lady, she made for us dinner and breakfast, everything home made and delicious! Like welcome she offered us tea and biscuits (home made). The farm is in the middle of the desert, close to Shivta archeological site. It seems in the middle of nothing but it's really suggestive. The rooms are clean and small, but you can't lock the door...it's not a big problem, everything it's really quite there! It's worth the time.
  • Restaurant with accommodation. A very quiet place.
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