Avdat and Shivta

Avdat and Shivta are impressive UNESCO world heritage sites, left to us by the ancient Nabatean and later Byzantine civilisations.

The sites are particularly special because they are set in the middle of the desert wilderness, inviting us to ask questions about how ancients survived in such hostile territory. As your expert guide reveals the secrets of the Nabaetans, you will marvel at their water collection, storage and irrigation technologies, and admire the beauty of the early churches they built having become members of the newly Christian Roman Empire. At Shivta, one is particularly drawn to the triple apse basilica churches, and cross shaped baptisteries where people were immersed in water in the process of conversion to Christianity. At Avdat you will also learn about ancient desert agriculture and wine making.

Our tour was a fascinating topological/geological/botanical field trip. Avdat’s history was punctuated by close-up examination of scarabs and other tiny creatures that just happened to cross our dusty path.

Caroline D, London

map of Avdat and Shivta

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