Tel Be’er Sheva – Be’er Sheva

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Background: Tel Be’er Sheva National Park is the historical city of Be’er Sheva and is located just outside the city, near Omer and Tel Sheva. The “tel” (a man made hill)  is about 20m higher than its surrounds (300m above sea level)  and has been inhabited since the 4th millennium BCE.  A tel is characterized by layers upon layers of settlements, in this case starting with the ancient Chalcolithic and Iron Age settlements, with Persian, Hellenistic, Herodian, Roman, and Arabs building new layers of cities, temples, and fortresses on top. Historically, Tel Be’er Sheva is the biblical Beersheba, where various Old Testament stories occurred (Abraham dug a well, Isaac built an altar, Jacob dreamed his stairway to heaven dream, and where Elijah took refuge. The site became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005.

Impressions: Tel Be’er Sheva is similar to Tel Megiddo, but looks much more like a city. The ruins here are much more complex and intricate; you can see walls and streets and the remains of houses, and it really feels more like a tel and a complete city, than a set of ruins. At the beginning stands a replica of the large four horned altar (the original is in the Israel Museum in Jerusalem), thought to be built by King Hezekiah of Judah. A large metal (and ugly) tower stands in the middle of the tel, and has great views of the ruins and the surrounding cities. Under the tel is a dimly lit subterranean water system (last photos in the set) where you are required to wear hard hats. There are also a ton of friendly lizards scampering around. The site isn’t easy to get to so there are generally not too many visitors, which made our visit nice.

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~ by jonathanmtsai on June 4, 2011.

One Response to “Tel Be’er Sheva – Be’er Sheva”

  1. Hi, I enjoy your beautiful pictures & sharing very much. I also want to visit this place. Would you please tell me how did you go there since the site isn’t easy to get to. Is there any public transportation?

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