Shivta in Wikipedia
Shivta or Sobota or Subeitah or Subaytah (Hebrew: שבטה), is
an archaeological site in the Negev Desert of Israel, east
of Nitzana. It is now the Israeli Artillery Corps main
Long considered a classic Nabataean town and terminal on the
ancient spice route, archaeologists are now considering the
possibility that the town was actually a Byzantine
agricultural colony and a way station for pilgrims en route
to the Santa Catarina, Egypt , located on the supposed site
of Mount Sinai.
The new assessment of Shivta is based on an analysis of the
irrigation system found at the site, which bears parallels
to Byzantine structures elsewhere. Until now, the
preponderance of Byzantine ruins were believed to be the
remains of a monastic community that established itself on
the ruins of an earlier Nabataean town.
The Shivta site contains three Byzantine churches, 2 wine-
press, residential areas and administrative buildings. After
the Arab conquest in the 7th Century CE, Shivta began to
decline in population. It was finally abandoned in the 8th
or 9th Century CE.
Shivta was declared a world heritage site by UNESCO on June