Sites & cities that bear the name of Sobata


Today in : Israel
First trace of activity : ca. 1st century B.C.E
Last trace of activity : ca. 9th century C.E
Recorded names : Σόβατα, Subeita, شبطا‎, Shivta, שבטה‎

Description : Shivta (Hebrew: שבטה‎), originally Sobata (Greek: Σόβατα) or Subeita (Arabic: شبطا‎), 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, as part of the Incense Route and the Desert Cities of the Negev, together with Haluza/Elusa, Avdat and Mamshit/Mampsis. The name Shivta is a modern Hebraization, given by the Negev Naming Committee in the early 1950s. The Greek name Sobata was mentioned in the Nessana papyri. Long considered a classical 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. A few Roman-period ruins have been discovered, but most of the archaeological findings date to the Byzantine period. Shivta's water supply was based on surface runoff collected in large reservoirs. Roman ruins from the first century BCE have been unearthed in the southern part of the town. Three Byzantine churches (a main church and two smaller churches), two wine-presses, residential areas and administrative buildings have been excavated.

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