Borot Lotz - (Cisterns)
Located in the high mountains of the Negev (950m), near the northern edge
of Machtesh Ramon, 5km from Egypt, and 34 from Mitzpe Ramon. Here we can
find 17 !! water pools, in an area of 2 square km. You will be surprised
to hear that 15 of them are still filled up every winter with fresh water,
though most of them were built in the 10th century b.c !!
In the times of King Solomon, effort was made to inhabit the area, in order
to form a living border between the desert tribes, and the cities of the
Kingdom. The border of the Kingdom went through the northern edge of the
Machtesh, through Kadesh-Barnea, and then to the north. To enable a
life in this area, dozens of pools and wells were digged, which stopped the
water of the rain. Lotz is a part of this monarchial effort. It seems the
settlements continued until the Babilone expelsion in 586 b.c.
In the first centuries a.c, the Nabaties took over the desert, and conducted
a settlement movement, which conquered all the deserted places, and inhabited
them with merchants, farmers, and pastors. This reached a peak in the 5th
to the 7th century, in the Bysantine period, and every piece of land, worthy
to cultivate, was planted and used.
The name Lotz is a new one, and the old one is not known, so you're welcome
to offer your suggestions. (Hint: follow the border of Solomon). Lotz comes
from the next waddi: Lussan.
In the area there are some rare trees, impressive Ficus Atlantica (Ela),
and groups of Almod trees (Ha-Shkediya Porahat...). The blooming is fantastic,
as you will see in the picture.
Lotz is not a place to pass by, which is good. It leaves the amazing Uziya/Tuvya
Iris, the fabulous Shimshonit, the deep-red Tulipans, the foxes and
the gazellas untouched, not to talk about thousands of other flowers, which
grow only in the specific area, and the rare deers they are trying to put
back in the nature.
How to get there:
Drive south to Mitzpe-Ramon, 5km north to the cown turn right,
near a military base, and after 30km you'll see a narrow path
to Lotz Cisterns.
Oh, and another thing: Please take a map. Don't count on road signs. The
wind is strong, and the natives like to turn around the signs, like in the
Hershele's story. And please take water. After all it's a little desert...
Have a nice trip.
e-mail if you don't find the place...