A cistern from the Byzantine period, right in my town's backyard, near the Meitar Forest!
Some 1,500 years ago people (farmers? monks? villagers?) collected and stored rain water down there in a big plastered cistern.
I edited the first photo lighter so you could see the nice handwork, how the folks carved out the stairs and entrance in the soft chalk.
But actually we were out there in the dark, after 8:00 pm!
The group of about 20 was fortunate to have our neighbor, Dr. Zeev Zivan, as our gude.
The hike was part of the worldwide Jane's Walk global festival of citizen-led free community walks.
Here Zeev was explaining the blaze for the Israel National Trail.
The whole walk to the wilderness was only an hour and a half but we were blessed to witness both sunset and moonrise.
I came home exhilarated, feeling lucky to live so near the desert and its ancient history!