Known as "Beer Sheva
" in Hebrew, Israelis refer to this city as the capital of the Negev. A prominent Ottoman town during the 19th century, this city was then called the Arabic "Bir Saba." According to the UN Partition Plan
of 1947, it was allocated to become part of a future Arab state.
During the revolt that occurred between 1933 and 1936, Beesheba experienced tension and conflict between its Arab and Jewish inhabitants. After Israel
zzz*zs independence, the largest waves of Jewish migrants to this city came from neighboring Arab countries.
An important archeological site located close to the city suggests Beeshebazzz*zs existence since the 4th century BC. It is also mentioned in the Book of Genesis. Several excavation sites attest to its ancient history. For instance an Israelite pillared building discovered in the city is believed to be typical of the Bronze era (1200-600 BC).
The city was built on the ruins of an ancient mound called Tel Sheva. Its Arabic name was Tell es-Saba under the later Islamic period.
Beersheba was ruled by the Byzantines until the Ottoman empire took over in the 16th century. However, while under Ottoman rule, it did not become a dwelling city until the 19th century. Under the British Mandate, it was an important administrative center.