Israel Defense Forces

Shiqmim. One of the largest Chalcolithic villages in the Beersheva valley, Shiqmim is seen at lower left in this aerial view. Excavation squares reveal the stone foundation walls of buildings that share a common orientation and that show a remarkable degree of planning for a settlement 6,000 years ago. Occasional floods of the Nahal Beersheva, the intermittent river across the top of the photo, supplemented the scant rainwater. The villagers planted their crops in the flood area, upper right quadrant, today distinguished by the different color of its soil.