Loz Cisterns is an archaeological site in Negev Highland area. In this area, north west of Makhtesh Ramon, are 17 ancient water cisterns. They are dated to the Israelite period, perhaps constructed during the times of King Solomon or King Uzziah. Map. Look also for Hemet Cistern.
The site is located on a remote area close to the border with Egypt, which is only 5km to the west. This dry desert area is located at an average altitude of 950m above sea level. It is 2km north west of Mt. Ramon (1033m altitude), at the western side of the geological crater Makhtesh Ramon.
Getting there: A dirt road leads from road #171 to the camping center. After parking the car, there are walking paths that pass through most of the cisterns and other interest points. They are spread over an area of 2 square kilometer. The first settlement in the area started at ~10,000 BC during the end of the Epi-Paleolithic (“After the old stone age”) and the beginning of the Neolithic (“New stone-age”) period.
Flint stones and ceramics, dated to these periods, were found in the structures in this area. During the Israelite period, in the 10th-8th Century BC, new farming villages were built here. The majority of the findings in the structures around the cisterns were dated to the Iron Age I and II.
This settlement may have been founded during the reign of King Solomon (10th Century BC), or later during the reign of King Uzziah (8th Century), as described in the Bible (2 Chronicles 9 10): “Moreover Uzziah built towers in Jerusalem … Also he built towers in the desert, and digged many wells: for he had much cattle, both in the low country, and in the plains…”.
The Loz nature reserve (Hebrew: “Borot Lotz”) is open to the public. A camping site with overnight stay permit is located on the west side of the cluster of cisterns.