Sites - Israel: Tel Beer Sheva
Tel Beer Sheva in Wikipedia
Tel Be'er Sheva (Hebrew: תל באר שבע) is an archeological
site in southern Israel believed to be the remains of the
biblical town of Be'er Sheva  The modern town of
Beersheba is situated west of the tel. The Bedouin town of
Tel Sheva lies to the east.
The town is mentioned numerous times in the Tanakh, often as
a means of describing the extent of the Land of Israel, as
being from "Be'er Sheva to Dan". For examples, see Judges
20:1-3 and I Samuel 3:19-21. The name is derived from the
Hebrew Be'er meaning a well, and Sheva, meaning either the
number seven, or "to swear an oath".
Archeological finds indicate that the site was used from the
Chalcolithic period, around 4000 BCE, through to the
sixteenth century CE. This was probably due to the abundance
of underground water, as evidenced by the numerous wells in
the area. The settlement itself dates from the early
Israelite period, around the tenth century BCE.
The streets of ancient Be'er Sheva are laid out in a grid,
with separate areas for administrative, military, commercial
and residential use. The town is regarded as the first
planned settlement in the region. The site is also
noteworthy for its elaborate water system and huge cistern,
carved out of the rock beneath the town.
A large horned altar was uncovered at the site. It was
reconstructed with several well-dressed stones found in
secondary use in the walls of a later building. This altar
attests to the existence of a temple or cult center in the
city which was probably dismantled during the reforms of
King Hezekiah. (2 Kings 18:4 )
The site was excavated by Prof. Yohanan Aharoni and by Prof.
Ze'ev Herzog of Tel Aviv University.
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