On Friday afternoons and Saturdays we can put our jeeps to good use exploring the area around Shivta which was once a bustling farming community and is littered with archaeological remains some of which are very impressive.
Not far from Shivta are the breathtaking ruins of Rucheibe (Rechovot be Negev). These ruins also date back to the Nabatean and Byzantine eras. The site is huge and barely excavated. Among the more interesting findings there is a church and adjoining monastery and several wells some of which are amazingly deep.
From top left to bottom right: Part of the monastery attached to the Rucheibe Church, ancient script engraved on the door frame of the monastery, more script on a door frame, a view of the vast expanses of desert around Rucheibe, an ancient tether in what might have been stables outside the Church of Rucheibe, the Western well complete with what might have been a bath house.