Beersheba, often referred to as “the Capital of the Negev”, is the largest city in the Negev desert of southern Israel.  It lies about 77 kilometers southwest of Jerusalem and approximately midway between the mediterranean and the southern part of the Dead Sea.  Although there is evidence of settlers there since the Copper Age, in ancient Israel, it was likely a small community but grew in importance in the 19th century, when the Ottoman Turks built a regional police station there.  An archaeological site containing the ruins of an ancient town dating to about 1300 BC has been found outside the eastern boundaries of the city and is believed to have been the Biblical Beersheba.  Numerous ancient wells have been found in the area.