Tel Beersheva sits near the confluence of the Beersheva and Hebron Rivers, where settled land meets the desert. Archeologists working at Tel Beersheva uncovered two-thirds of a settlement from the early Israelite period (tenth century B.C.E.), when a fortified administrative city was built on the tell (mound composed of the remains of successive settlements). This site has unparalleled importance for the study of biblical-period urban planning.
The meticulously planned waterworks are evidence of tremendous engineering expertise. The centerpiece of the water system is a huge rectangular shaft dug fifteen meters into the ground. The walls of the shaft are tiled with pieces of stone. The shaft descends into a large reservoir, fed by the floodwater that flowed through the Hebron River. A 70-meter well, the deepest in Israel, was also discovered on Tel Beersheva.
The Israel Nature and National Parks Protection Authority rebuilt large parts of the ancient buildings using mud blocks. Visitors will want to see the well, the city streets, the storehouses, the public buildings and private homes, the city wall and gates, and the reservoir. Especially interesting is the reconstructed horned altar, parts of which were found on the site.
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