Probing the Byzantine/Early Islamic Transition in the Negev: The Renewed Shivta Excavations, 2015–2016

Yotam Tepper, Tali Erickson-Gini, Yoav Farhi, Guy Bar-Oz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


The study presents preliminary results of the renewed excavations at Shivta in the Negev Highlands, Israel. Several trenches were excavated in public buildings, domestic structures, open areas and middens. The goal of the excavations was to fine-tune the history of the site and document changes versus continuity in the Byzantine/Early Islamic transition. Most of the excavated contexts produced material from the Byzantine period (4th–7th centuries CE). Evidence from earlier periods, primarily the Early Roman (1st century CE; ‘Nabataean’) and from the Middle Roman period (2nd–early 3rd centuries CE) is scarce and was encountered only in middens on the outskirts of the site. Several public and domestic structures were abandoned prior to the Early Islamic period; some collapsed as a result of earthquakes after their abandonment. Remains of the Early Islamic period were found only in isolated contexts, indicating that Shivta declined in the Late Byzantine period after having reached its zenith during the 5th–6th centuries CE.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)120-152
Number of pages33
JournalTel Aviv
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2 Jan 2018


  • Archaeology of Abandonment
  • Byzantine period
  • Byzantine/Early Islamic transition
  • Early Islamic period
  • Nabataean
  • Negev
  • Shivta

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Archaeology


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